Friday, 26 August 2011

Folksy Friday - The pet shop!

Do you ever find that sometimes the stress of crafting for a living can get to you? Ive been doing this for 3 years now. With sales going down and shops not paying up on time I felt I could do with something that was a bit more secure. It can be tough working for yourself at times. You have to be self motivated and organized which I think we all find it hard to do!

So I thought that I would look for a wee part time job that could give me a regular income and then I can do my crafting as a hobby again. In my village I saw an advert in a shop window of a pet shop. The hours looked right so I put my CV in and hoped for the best. I've always wanted to work in a pet shop. I'm forever going in them just to say 'hi' to the wee animals. (No I'm not mad. I bet you have done the same thing!!) So I was so chuffed that I got a call back and I went for an interview the next day. But I got the text today saying I hadn't got the job. Boohoo!! Oh well, I will keep trying so my folksy Friday is my next thing to it.I hope you like it♥

1:Quernus Crafts with wee tan mouse with green apple
2:Carole's glass with stained glass angel fish sun catcher
3:Mary Elliott with cute Guinea pig ring
4:Handmade by Kitty Clark with homespun bunny
5:Hoot ceramics with ceramic birds
6:The other mousie with rare Tibetan sneezing hamsters

I hope you enjoy my selection and please feel free to give a comment. Also you can have a browse in my folksy shop by following the link.Carols crafts on folksy

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Alcohol inks and polymer clay.

I wanted to share one of my favourite techniques with you. It give a fantastic effect that I just cant get enough of just now. What I use here is black polymer clay, alcohol inks and a sheet of silver leaf. I had run out of the gold leaf but I had gold alcohol ink so that did fine. The inks can be quite expensive but they do last a long time. Make sure you store them in a cool place.

I firstly conditioned some black fimo through my pasta machine at the thickest setting and gently placed a piece of silver leaf on it being carefull not to break it. You can use silver leaf too. Then a splogged some gold alcohol ink on the top and took a wee sponge and dabbed it all over the silver leaf until it was covered.

Next I dropped some blue and purple ink on in a random patten letting the colours run into one another.

Next I took a wee sponge and dabbed the colours to merge them a bit more and then I let it dry a bit. The alcohol in the ink eventually evaporates.

I then dropped a third colour of a blue just to give it another dimention. I conditioned another piece of black clay at the thickest setting then I placed the inked clay on top and cut out shapes ready to use to make beads.

I peirced the bead before baking. When cured at the manufactors recomendation, I varnished the top of my beads them made a lovely bracelet from it! I love these colours together so I think I may keep this one.

I think when you see how easy this is you can find alsorts of colour combinations. Remember to think of the colour wheel and use colours that will complement one another. Its good to think carefully about this because it saves you from getting a muddy pallet and ruining your clay.

I hope you have enjoyed this blog and have found it usefull. Below are some usefull links on where you can find some materials for this project. Have fun!♥

Please feel free to leave a comment. All the best. Carol♥

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

New tutorial! - Polymer clay flower pendant and beads.

Many who have polymer clay are not sure what to do with it. They have maybe made some marble type beads but can't think how to get complex patterns. There are many tutorials out there on-line and on you tube. That's where I started to learn myself the basics of polymer clay caning. I was very grateful that the information was out there. So as I progressed and made my jewellery many others expressed interest in learning too. They were to far to go to my classes so I decided to write my own tutorials to send over the email in PDF form so they can do it at home.

My first tutorial was Carols Celtic Cane. It taught you what you need to make your cane and also how to use it when made. It shows how to make pillow beads and how to make what I call a 'fimo slab' which you can use to make shapes from or cover items with.

This tutorial is still available in my folksy shop.
 Carols Celtic Cane Polymer Clay Tutorial - Folksy shop

So my latest tutorial is a polymer clay flower pendant and beads. In this tutorial I have written instructions on how to make your own petal cane and how to make it into a lovely pendant. Also included is how to make a flower cane and make your own beads with it. Its perfect for those who know the basics of polymer clay and would like to know more . It includes 15 PDF pages 47 colour pictures.

 This new tutorial is available in my folksy shop with hopefully more tutorials coming out soon.
Polymer clay flower pendant and bead tutorial PDF- Folksy shop
Please feel free to leave a comment.
All the best.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

♥I love colour!! - Folksy Friday!♥

Well my next folksy Friday is a colourful one. I love colour especially the rainbow spectrum. Ive found some lovely finds on folksy with this theme. There was so much to chose from it was difficult to make up my mind so I have 10 to choose from. Its been such a rubbish summer so far so this might cheer you up. Enjoy ♥

1:Rainbow lavender bag by Vintage Patchworker
2:Rainbow silver plated bracelet by Pink Chihuahua Kisses
3:Pencil hair grip by Funky Jewellery
4:Rainbow flower buttons by Lilley
5:Rainbow star stained glass panel by Diomo Glass
6:Rainbow tutu by Strawberry Annies
8:Glass rainbow windchimes by Abundant Glass
9:Rainbow mirror by Clair Seely Glass Design
10:Pocket rainbow-Baby felt plush rainbow by The Rainbow Room

♥And here if a few of my own rainbow things.♥

1:Funky chunky stacker bead polymer clay bracelet
2:Polymer clay rainbow charms
3:Rainbow ball polymer clay bag charm
4:Rainbow butterfly polymer clay necklace

♥I hope you like the selection and please feel free to leave a comment. All the best!♥

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Glass painting - Storm lanterns

I was asked for an order for these lovely storm lanterns. After polymer clay I must say that glass painting comes next. Painting glass has a special place in my heart. It was with this that I started to do craft fairs and where Carols Crafts as a business really took off. I must have been doing glass painting for about 12 -14 years now.

I use the solvent based paints myself rather than the water based ones. I like the colour better but it does smell though!! When I start I make sure the place is well ventilated and I have some white spirit, cotton wool buds, kitchen towels and table coverings.

So this order was for 3 storm lanterns with pictures of a panda, a brown bear and a polar bear. I sourced the pictures on google. When you type in what you want in google eg. panda, and go to images then line drawings you will find loads off images you can choose from. So here is some step by step pictures.

These are the template pictures I used for my lanterns. I would stick these in the inside of the lanterns and use a glass outliner to trace the outlines of the pictures. I would do this for all the sides of the lantern.

This is the polar bear one. I first used the pearl glass paint and panted all the sides. I waited for it to dry first before filling in the rest of the parts because if you are not careful the other colours will bleed into the white.

I did the same thing for the panda one leaving the white to dry first. Then I did the black part then the rest.

The brown bear one was the easiest to do. I mixed a wee bit of orange and gold paint into the brown to give it a different texture. I went over each lantern with the outliner when I was finished to sharpen the edges and neaten it more. When the are dry I will give the insides a clean and tidy them up. When lit, if you put them near a wall the pattern reflects on the the wall a bit like stained glass. They look really pretty.

So I'm fair chuffed with the way they have turned out and they are bound for a lovely lady in Burghead. I hope she likes them. For more of my painted glasses please contact me or buy them in the Handmade in Moray shop in Elgin. I hope you have enjoyed this blog entry and please feel free to comment♥

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Folksy Friday - Scottish Gems!

Its that time of the week again!!! I always love to encourage to shop local and shop handmade. Since I am a Scotland based jewellery maker and crafter, I thought I would showcase a fraction of the talent we have here. Folksy is a great platform for this. So here is my picks for this week. Some are just newbies so please have a look!!

No 1:Stag brooch by Alexis Southam Jewellery

No 2:Silver and garnet necklace by Karen Heriot Jewellery

No 3:Floral charm bracelet with raspberries by Bedecked Beads

No 4:Silver seashell pendant with lilac crystal by Deep Blue See Silver

No 5:Shooting stars by Shoogly Beads

No 6:Leaf brooch by Aileen Clarke Crafts

And there you have it! Some lovely bits and bobs from Scotland. Please have a wee look and let me know what you think. All the best!!

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Arrivederci Edinburgh!

Well after a long thought, after 3 years of being in Forres I had decided to take my products out of the Edinburgh shops. For about 12 years I was supplying a shop in Leith called Flux. Then they opened a shop in North Berwick so I supplied them there to. It was a sale or return basis and I had great success there. These are great wee shops that help local artist and support fair trade too. You will always find something different there. I must say that 12 years ago when i moved to Edinburgh the shop owner Bea Taylor was very glad to have my glass painting and was always encouraging to have the new thing that I had created. And for that I will always be grateful because it helped to build my confidence.

Leith shop
 But as times have changed I decided to take my things out and recall my stock. I worked out that I had about £2,700 worth of stock there! And thats just what I would get if it sold in the shops! But as you crafters know sometime you have to re-jiggle things about to find out what sells best for you. So I felt an up date was in order. So down I went yesterday with my big suitcase and rucksack. (I don't drive so I took the train!) I'm chocked with the cold too but I said I would go down because I had booked it a month before hand. I didn't have to go out to North Berwick because all the stock was in Leith so that was handy.

Sometimes its a bit of a leap of faith when you change things. When you make things for a living you have to have you finger in alot of pies as it were. You may supply shops, do craft fairs and have an online outlet like folksy or etsy. Facebook has been a great outlet too. But you know what is best for yourself and you have to keep on testing the market for what sells the best. So I hope to concentrate on being local but I still have my folksy shop. I have an etsy shop but haven't used it for a wee while but I maybe will do more in that end.

Great thing is that I have a load of stock now to sell at craft fairs and the up and comming Nairn Agricultural show. I hope to do some more facebook sales too because these go down so well. Look what I have for sale now from the stock from Edinburgh!!

This is only part of what I got back! So this will be sold in the next craft fairs and shops soon. This leaves me more time to create more new things!  I will be posting soon all the shops I and markets I will be attending. I hope you like this post and will love your comments♥

Monday, 11 July 2011

Polymer clay pebbles

I have been wondering how to make these for a long time. You know how there are so many things to do with polymer clay that sometimes you don't get around to doing new things. So with the granite fimo I had going hard in my fimo draw and some new premo clay that I had got, I decided to give it a go and now I'm hooked! I have a few stony looking clay from the effect glittery grey ones to the granite and transparent clay.

You can see from the left hand picture some of the colours I have used. So I chose 2 - 3 colours and mixed them a bit but not too much. Then I twisted the clay so some of the merged clay lines could go sideways as you see in the picture.

Then a took a piece of clay and rooled in the palm of my hands then squashed it down into a rough pebble shape. Then that was about it!! It was just that simple! The great thing about it that you dont know what each pebble will turn out like. Then you woild peirce it before you bake it according to the manufactures instructions. If you want to make it more rough you can rub sand into the pebble before you bake it.

I lay out the shape of the necklace I want to make before baking. It saves a bit of hassle. You don't have to do stone type of beads. You can apply the same method with other abstract colours to make a different type of pebble jewellery.

I've used here purples and golds on the left hand picture and blues and silvers on the right hand picture. The purple one is not baked yet tbut the blue pebble has been baked, sanded and buffed. I'm a bit of a lasy clayer and dont tend to buff my beads but what a difference it makes with these pebbles. It seemes to give a 3D effect and the mica in the metalic clays really shine out. The feel of the pebbles are so smooth to. They feel like worry stones!

Then when you are happy with your beads you can make them into the things you want.These beads are bound for a shop in Creiff and The gallery called Hung in Inverness. I will be putting some in my Folksy shop too. I hope you have enjoyed this wee insite into polymer clay and please feel free to leave a comment. Thanks♥

Links for Hung in Inverness and An Cnoc in Creiff.!/pages/Hung-Inverness/205325119477900!/profile.php?id=100002207899569

Thursday, 7 July 2011

First Folksy Friday! Ginger Cats ,,^..^,,

Well this is my first folksy Friday showcasing some of the lovely things that are in the folksy website. All those who know me know I love my cat. Yes that is me, the mad cat woman that lives next door!! So in honour of my lovely cat Biskit here are my picks of the week! Enjoy!!♥

Dash crafts

Quernus Crafts
Butterfly Artworks

Cotton hugs designs

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

I love cake!!

Mmmm....cake!!! Well not the type you eat! I've been making loads of cake beads. These are so popular just now. They are going really well as bag charms and I will be putting them on folksy soon.

These will be cut into 8 slices then textured to give them that sponge look. These are only half of what I have made!! The white star one on the top right is really a rainbow cake inside. I think my favorite bit about making these is when I cut into them. Makes my mouth drool!!

I've also used some of my citris canes to make the orange and lemon slices. Ive also used a needle to texture the inside if the cake. This takes ages!!

   Then when I've done all I need to do to them I peirce them ready to be used. They are baked at about 130C/275F for 30 minutes. Its best to err on the side of cooler and slightly longer. But that just what I've found. Then they are all ready to be made into beads and charms!!

And there you have it. Please go to my folksy shop for more beads and items. Enjoy!! :D

Monday, 4 July 2011

Learning how to set up my blog!!

Well I thought it was about time I started with a blog! Its a good place to find out what Im up to and some things I am doing at the moment. It will help with folksy Fridays too. Please bear with me and I hope I can be of use to all my craft peeps out there. All the best!!