Hand-made gifts and other creative pursuits!

The presents have all been ripped open, relaxation and leftovers are on the menu, and I’m slowly getting back into the flow of things! My hand-made gifts, all arrived safely at their destinations, so all is good for another year! BeadFX is closed until January 2nd, so most of the elves are taking a much-needed rest! Or are they?

I don’t know about you, but for me, it’s a good excuse to catch up on reading, attempt to clean and organize the house (boy, does it ever need it!), explore some new creative pursuits, and even think about hand-made gifts for next year. I’m thinking about joining a year-long embroidery project, but am still on the fence, as I have a few other on-going projects that I’m considering. Also, sign-ups for the Bead Journal Project, close at the end of December, so if you’re looking for a beady project group, join their Facebook group by Saturday, the 31st, at the latest!

I promised that I would share some of my 2016, hand-made gifts, so here they are! My primary focus this year, was on easy, casual and wearable! The simple leather bracelet, was made for a man, and the Super-Duo one, with the 3-strand tube clasp (I actually made two bracelets, but only one photo turned out), for a woman. The owl earrings, are fanciful and fun, and the fossil pair was a gift for myself. Both are Czech glass, but I think that I took the last of those particular colours (there are other owl colours though)! The Lapis/Bronzite and Freshwater Pearl necklace, could be dressed up or down, depending on the outfit.

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The wire-wrapped wine charms, were originally made as samples for a class, and the crystal and charm bookmarks, for hostess gifts! The nice part about the bookmarks, is that all of the crystals, were sourced from my stash. It seems that I over purchased, when I made last years hand-made gifts (crystal Icicles)! LOL!

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bookmarks-122816-desaulniers-anne-marieI’ve been trying to finish off a few bead embroidery projects (more about those, after they’re finished), and found a little time today to do an acrylic dirty pour on an old CD. You’ll notice that it flowed right over one side!!!!! That will teach me not to get the level out! But all is not lost, as I was careful to back the CD with Painters Tape. After it’s all dry, I should be able to just tear, and then trim off the drips (theoretically speaking!). What will I do with this CD you say? I have absolutely no idea, but it was fun to work on. I started off with drops of four colours of acrylic ink, then smeared those around with a toothpick. Unfortunately, I was impatient, chose the wrong colours, and the result was yucky brown! After I let it dry for a while, I mixed up some white, with a splash of silicone, a spray of water, and another drop of acrylic ink, then poured it on. Better, but still not perfect! More drying time, and then I mixed up some pouring medium, with a little more acrylic ink. Obviously too much pouring medium, as that’s when it all started slip-sliding-away!!! A few touch-ups with my palette knife, a little blast with the torch, and then cover until its dry (to keep the dust off)! It will probably take days!!! If I like the results, I will eventually cover it with a thin coat of resin. More about this in the future!flowcd-122816-desaulniers-anne-marieimg_4378-2

The last photos are my finished pieces, from the metal clay class I took earlier in the month. As I stated in an earlier post, there were kiln issues, so not all of my pieces were successful. The two pendants on the left are good, but the ones on the right are too thin, and will probably snap with wear. Thanks to Christine’s brilliant idea, I will attempt to strengthen them, with a couple of coats of Ice Resin. I’ve accepted the failed pieces as lessons learned, so they will become mixed-media fodder, for the future! Stay tuned for future explorations with this product! Who knows? These experiments may even end up as hand-made gifts for next year!

2 Comments

  1. Faith E

    Love the colours! I could see that as a wind-chime, outdoor decor or window art?
    Thought about your thin pendants – if they aren’t too big maybe they could be made into earrings – back them with some nice leather or another piece of metal? just sayin…….:)

  2. Anne Marie

    Hi Faith!

    I showed my altered CD to a friend the other day, and she immediately thought of exactly the same thing. She even suggested either painting the other side, or gluing two of them back-to-back. I’ll see what I can do, and will be sure to post when I figure it all out. As for the thin pendants, they were originally intended as earrings, but they’re not in my immediate plans. However, I’m still thinking that a coat of resin on the back, at least, would help to strengthen them. But then again, I also like the thought of leather. Perhaps both! Thanks for the ideas!

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