Wednesday 25 July 2018

Holiday Recovery, Scooter Trauma, Earring Unsuccess and Back to the Creative Stuff. . .

Well, I'm back from holiday. It turns out that at was as hot back home as it was where we went. Who'd a thunk. . .
But it did have the Med, lovely food, motor boats to hire and suchlike distractions. It was mostly relaxing. . .
Although we did just manage to avoid wiping ourselves out on a hired scooter. Scooters just don't handle like motor bikes! Horrible things. I didn't feel fully in control of it, the weight was all wrong, so we turned it in half a day early before something nasty happened. I did manage to drive slowly and sedately into a thorn bush, while negotiating a sharp turn on bumpy track, which was less than fun but not injurious. . . So no more scooters for me, ever.

Loggos harbour, from the track up to the deserted windmill, Paxos

The funny thing about holidays is that it takes a day or three to recover from them, which seems to negate the point of them in the first place ;-) It didn't help that the  journey home took all day, including a 5 hour coach ride that stopped every bleedin' where between Heathrow and Norwich, and didn't have wi fi, so I missed the World Cup Final. . . Anyway, enough moaning. Well done France, and Croatia, I might add. And England, for a work in progress, we did OK.

I managed to get back into the workshop for a reasonable length of time, once the recovery from the holiday was complete, and continued my experimentation with bits of wire and neglected beads. Some of which were very successful, and others which were frankly, a bit mad. It was good to relax into an extended bit of creative activity again.

Demented pendant

I got round to listing some stuff on LBA Galleria Elementals at long last, and sold most of them, so that kept me in a good mood. 

Oh yeah, I was forgetting, I tried some earrings on LBA Designers Galleria, but got no takers, some nice comments but nobody flashing the cash. Interesting. I feel that earrings are perhaps a longer term  sell than components. Maybe my Etsy shop is the place for them rather than short sharp exposure on FB. Dunno. Maybe they weren't what people actually wanted or they would rather buy the beads and make the earrings themselves. I might try a different group to see if that makes a difference. It's all a learning curve, and none the worse for that.

simple unsold, but not unloved spike earrings

Still no rain here. The lawn is brown and the pond is as low as we've seen it. Still, it does mean I don't have to cut the grass. Oh well, it will rain eventually and no doubt we will moan about that too ;-)
I'll share my most recent makes next time, so until then, have a good one.
Jon x

some textured spikes, just to keep my hand in. .

Friday 6 July 2018

Weather Served in Chunks, Crunchy Grass, Wasp Bother and More Arty Components

Grid Spikes, my ideas often end up getting combined at some point. .

It's been a funny sort of year weather wise. Everything has come in chunks. We had a a couple of weeks of cold and snow, just when we were expecting Spring, then we had weeks of wet/very wet weather and now we're experiencing a big chunk of hot, dry stuff. Very nice to have bright sunlight and lovely warm evenings in the garden of course, I don't want to appear ungrateful, but the lawn is brown, and crunches when you walk on it. Time for at least some rain, but maybe not a big chunk of wet weather. Moderation in all things and a bit of variety, like things used to be eh?

Double sided, round, hollow, polymer clay beads on upcycled wire stalks

Talking of 'things', whatever the weather I have been finding some time to make some. 'Things' that is. As in 'not readily definable objects'. I seem to work best creatively when I don't have a solid aim in mind but just let ideas happen and see where they take me. They don't always take me in obviously usable directions, but that's ok, the process is always useful somehow even if the product sometimes isn't.
Well, my process isn't quite as random as that maybe, I do like to set some simple, but not too rigid guidelines to keep the creative flow from turning into a total splurge. 
Freedom and control, the two opposing forces we juggle with and negotiate between. . .

Rejuvenated texture squares and upcycled wire

The things I have been making combine polymer clay beads and wire in various ways.

I have quite a few beads lurking here and there that I never quite found the right use for, never managed to sell, took down from my Etsy shop when Etsy was looking like an increasingly bad option, (it has improved imho) or rescued from unsatisfactory necklaces I made quite a while ago. 

I have been combining them with upcycled, scavenged, thick wire mesh to make simple, what I call 'Industrial Boho' earring components and the like. 
OK, pretentious maybe, but it sounds better than 'Unwanted Beads and Discarded Wire' earring components. . . ;-) 

Kind of African Gothic texture spikes from an abandoned necklace plus bent wire bits

The wire I use is thick but quite malleable, so I can bend it with round nose pliers to make interesting simple shapes, and basic loops, being sure to smooth off any sharp edges in the process.

Distressed image trans rectangle and wire combination

The previously mentioned electronic components get a look in every now and then too. I'll get round to using them more in due course. Plenty of time for that.

I was going to make these into earrings myself, but decided to sell them as is

A groovy 'Traffic Light' pendant - no they don't light up

I recently, as in just the other day found a two part epoxy glue that bonds metal to metal. That is going to be very useful going forward as I am not yet versed in the art of soldering. I tried it out and it works well. Tightly wrapped wire and good superglue has worked well so far but super tough epoxy will work even better.

More rejuvenated texture squares with upcycled wire grid bits, and suitably grey coloured epoxy glue on the wrapped join

The good news is that people seem to like them and my regular customers like them well enough to buy them so I'm pleased ;-)

Oh yeah, wasps. Some smaller than usual wasps were just starting to build a nest in the shed, I only noticed when one stung me on the knuckle as I was reaching for the lawn rake, and another managed to tangle itself in my t shirt at the lower back and stung me there too. That got my attention ;-) I sprayed the beejasus out of those buggers so that will have sorted them. Stinging me! The nerve!

Anyway, off on hols to a lovely Greek island for a week so see you when I get back.
Jon x