Monday, March 31, 2014

Always Have Hope

I haven't talked about it a ton on here, but my father battled cancer for five years before losing that battle.  I recently started making shrinky dinks with the O in hope replaced by an awareness ribbon.  The ribbon can be a different color depending on the cause, but the design can stay the same. 

I decided to make earrings out of these accented by Swarovski crystals.  I thought this would be a great way for those battling a disease or those who are supporting them to convey the message that they should always have hope.  My father fought til the very end because he said that every day he was alive was another day that they might learn something new that leads to a cure for cancer.  

He never gave up hope, even when he knew that he only had days left to live and knew that his body was failing from the damage cancer had done. Every pair of these hope earrings that I make, even those not associated with what he battled, are a tribute to him and the message that he tried to convey. He always greeted every nurse and doctor with a smile, telling them he felt fine, even when he was in pain. I can only hope that everyone with a condition or disease that they are fighting, no matter how dire it may feel, can find a way to have a little hope...even if that hope is just that what doctors learn from them may lead to a cure for someone else. 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Winter Owl Earrings

Let's talk shrinky dinks.  I have become addicted to this medium.  It allows me to create a custom charm or focal.  I prefer to hand draw them when I can, but you can also trace images, just make sure that if you are making them for sale that you are using copyright free images.  

Also, always make sure to coat the shrinky dinks with some kind of sealant or top coat after baking, otherwise the color can become smudged or be scratched off, and you don't want that to happen.

I recently did a number of shrinky dinks in different images of animals, and one of the ones I was most happy with were these happy little owls.  They came out very whimsical and fun.  With the addition of some sparkling Swarovski crystals the tone was set for these little guys.  While the owl picture itself is very carefree and fun, the crystals add more of a sophisticated look.  I used some of those rivoli earrings I created as the base.  

Be sure to head over to my Etsy store to check them out!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Simple but Elegant Green Onyx Earrings

These earrings started out as a Christmas present for my mom, but I liked them so much I made a second pair to sell in my Etsy shop.  I got these beautiful green onyx briolettes and just thought they would be perfect for this style.  I started by making some briolette wrapped loops on them as this would be the easiest way to attach them.  I'm not that good at this technique yet, but I was happy with the improvement I've been making in learning it. 

To add a little sparkle to the earrings I decided to make beaded links with some Swarovski bicones.  These just added a little sparkle and shine to the earrings and accent the briolettes well.

While they may appear to be pretty simple in concept, they add to any look and can be very formal depending on what they are paired with.  I just love the deep green in these briolettes and couldn't pass up doing something fun with them. 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Captain America

This started out as a custom piece that was requested as a single necklace.  After making the first one, I quickly had two more orders for it.  After making three of them, I will not be making anymore.  As awesome as this Captain America necklace came out, it was super labor intensive and took me forever to get right. Still, I really love how it came out, everything just aligned.

It features of mix of comic images as well as vintage poster like images.  I added Swarovski crystal pearls in their gemstone colors as they were the perfect red, white and blue.  

You know, you never realize how many different shades of blue there are in Sharpie's until you are trying to match them to shades in an image that you want to really get right.  I think in one of the poster like images I used four different shades of blue. Still, worth it. 

Again, this was a limited run and I will not be making any more (you would have to offer a really good sum of money to compensate me for the time it takes) but man it sure came out looking pretty cool. 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na Batman!

You know what, having tons of photos and blog posts that need to be written makes writing them all out a bit hard, as you don't want to be repetitive.  I certainly don't want theses to start sounding like "here are some shrinky dinks and an ICE resin pendant and this was made for Comic Con." So let's just touch on a bunch of important points.  

ICE Resin Issues: I've previously discussed about ICE Resin seeping through multiple coats of Mod Podge. In this case it made the pendant look more rustic or vintage, but on a personal level, it really did not please me.  This is something that I am still working on figuring out. 

These shrinky dinks were super fun to make.  I found cartoon icons for the Joker and Catwoman, as well as a symbol for the Riddler.  I also added a classic POW! and of course the Batman logo.  These were super colorful and fun to figure out. 

The bat beads.  Okay, here's a secret.  These were really inexpensive acrylic beads that had some white detailing on them.  Most of the detailing I took care of with a Sharpie marker since I only really wanted the eyes to show.  This totally improved their look and made them a real statement part of this necklace. 

Notice anything different?  Most of these necklaces I have been making with chains, but for the Batman one I felt like going with an illusion style to give it a cleaner look with more impact.  The wire is black too, so it adds to the overall look.  This one took me longer to make than some of the others, but it ended up being one of my favorites. 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Snoopy Dance anyone?

Ok, I should include a disclaimer here, I am a BtVS devotee. I love all things Joss Whedon. So when my friend asked me to make a Xander themed piece, I was more than happy to do so.  I really wanted to feature Xander's face, but finding a picture I could use for inspiration to base my drawing off of was difficult.  I finally found something that was more line art based from one of the comics, so I was able to use that as a reference.  This was really difficult for me, and stretched my drawing ability, but I felt that it came out pretty well.  I also did a shrinky dink of the BtVS logo and of course...Snoopy doing the Snoopy Dance (any Buffy fan will know what this is a reference to). With all the detail in the pendant I decided that besides the shrinky dinks I would just use some Swarovski crystal for sparkle and keep the rest simple. Word from my friend is that she was able to show this to Nicholas Brendan when she met him at Comic Con, so I was floored by that!  

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

X-Men Necklace

This is another one where I used a picture within a bezel and some ICE Resin. This one features old school X-men.  With the impact of the picture I decided to keep all of the other details simple to simply accent the main pendant.  I did this by using beaded links as well as beads attached as drops to pieces of chain which hang below the pendant itself.  It doesn't need a whole lot of added color since the pendant itself is so colorful, so the beads are mirrorlike or clear with a finish.  Also, these accents give the piece more shine and sparkle, but still keeps the attention on the main image in the pendant.  

ICE resin is still a relatively new material for me.  So far it is not really a favorite, but I think that is only because I don't have a ton of practice with it.  I coated all of the images I used in the pendant with multiple coats of Mod Podge, but there still were some issues where the ICE resin would seep through.  Still, I hope with more practice I will figure out better methods.  We shall see with time. 

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Nothing else needs to be said....Wolverine.

Yes, we are continuing the trend of pieces that I created for my friend when she went to Comic Con.  There were quite a few pieces that I custom made for her and I want to make sure I share them.  This one was of course centered on Wolverine.  I kept this design fairly simple, just a bezel with a picture that was embed within ICE resin and then a few drops, as well as a shrinky dink of one of the X men logos which features Wolverine's claws.  I decided to use gunmetal findings for this piece, to go with the gritty feel of the imagery I was using.  I used just a simple chain style with the toggle clasp in front.  All of the drops and then pendant were attached to the ring portion of the toggle clasp.

One thing to keep in mind, when using shrinky dinks make sure that you remember to punch your hole before baking it! On this one I forgot to punch the hole and there is no way to punch it once it has been baked and cured.  A great way to fix this is to use a fold over or glue on bail, as I ended up doing in this piece.  For now, I'll leave you with this lovely image, have a great day!

Friday, March 7, 2014

The Final Frontier

So in my foray of shrinky dink madness (ok, I'll just say it, it has become my favorite medium) I decided to make up a quick freehand version of the Star Trek Logo and turn it into earrings.  

I really cannot express how much I enjoy working with shrinky dinks.  They allow me to express my creativity and create custom charms or pendants.  It has completely expanded what I am able to create.  Can't find a charm that will exactly match what I want? I can make it out of shrinky dinks! It is always a trial an error process.  It can be really hard to figure out the exact sizing ratio but once you get the hang of it, the possibilities are really endless.  

The Star trek logo was relatively simple to replicate and I knew that they were going to be a hit for my friend that I have been making custom jewelry for.  These were quick, easy and still have a lot of impact. 

My friend ended up loving these earrings and I am tempted to make some more since the design was so quick and easy to create.  If you are just starting out with a medium like shrinky dinks, then using something simple would be the best way to start.  An image like this is something that is easy to freehand, but instantly recognizable. 

Thursday, March 6, 2014

So we meet again...

I know, I know, it has been forever since I have updated my blog.  Life has been a bit unstable for a while now, and I've just not been able to keep up with everything.  For one thing, there was an addition made to my family.  She's a handful...but I love her. 

You thought it was going to be something else, didn't you? Haha. After being without a cat for three years I finally decided to get another and my landlord was nice enough to let me, so I got Calypso. I was lucky enough to get her at 8 weeks old, but she is almost 6 months old now as you can see.  She's brought me some happiness, which was sorely needed.  This is not a blog where I am going to talk about depression or hardship a lot, but I won't deny that this was happening. Still, I will be updating more frequently now and hopefully keeping up on things more (fingers crossed!).  Stay happy everyone!