Friday, 30 May 2014

Design Your Own Fabric!

I was reading a discussion in the Etsy forums a while back, and someone made a passing reference to printing her own fabric using Spoonflower. I was intrigued, because I have always wanted to design my own fabric.  When I looked up Spoonflower, I was immediately smitten. You really can create your own fabric from any type of design: vector graphics, scans from original artwork, or even photographs.

I created my first two designs a few weeks ago, and I got my fabric this week.  My first design is a garden full of nasturtiums.

For my second design, I drew apple blossoms.

I created both of these designs by drawing with colored pencils.  I did a lot of detailed shading, and I am really happy with the amount of that work that comes through in the finished fabric. In order to get seamless repeats, I first used a cutting and taping technique on my layout sketches. Then after the drawings were complete, I scanned them and perfected the repeats using Gimp.

Visit my shop on Spoonflower to see these designs, and stay tuned for more designs in the future.

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Inkjet Transfers to Polymer Clay: Ready for Jewellery Making

I have sold a bunch of my cat and bird necklaces on Etsy, so I need to make replacements.  I am also planning to offer brooches.  Therefore, I have just made 2 inkjet transfers of each of my cat and bird designs.

There are quite a few steps to complete between finishing a drawing and making a completed piece of jewellery out of the finished inkjet transfer.  First, I start with one of my transfers.

Before I can move on to the next step, I have to sand the back and sides.  Then I apply a thin layer of metallic clay to the back of the transfer.   

After I have baked this layer, I apply a thin strip of metallic clay to the sides. 

It is only once both of these steps are done that I can move on to deciding what kinds of embellishments I want to add to the setting.  

To see some of the jewellery I have made using the inkjet image transfer technique, visit my Etsy shop:

Monday, 17 February 2014

Create a Custom Shop Banner

When I opened my Etsy shop in May, I made a quick shop banner.  It looked okay, but I really wanted my banner to better reflect my style.  I recently downloaded the free Inkpad app for my iPad, and I have found it to be the perfect tool for creating custom banners.

I know that many crafty people have shops on Etsy and other sites, so I created this video to show you how to make your own banner using Inkpad.  Enjoy!

Sunday, 19 January 2014

My Postcards Are Coming!

I drew this picture a couple of months ago with the idea that I would get postcards made.  As usual, I got distracted, and the picture sat around without being made into postcards.  I finally got around to ordering some last week, and they are now on their way.  The back side has a picture of one of my necklaces and all of my contact information (including this blog, e-mail, and Etsy).  I'll be able to use them to promote my business, and I'm also planning to use them as thank-you notes when people order from me.

Friday, 20 December 2013

Foolproof Inkjet Transfers to Polymer Clay

I have been making jewelry using inkjet transfers to polymer clay for a while now.  I really enjoy using this technique.   In fact, I just finished a batch of bird necklaces today:

I made a video a few months ago about how to do inkjet transfers.  At that time I was having a fair amount of success with the technique, but I would sometimes have transfers turn out all glitchy.  Since then, I have refined my technique, and I am now getting 100% success rates with my transfers.  I made a new video today to share my process.  I hope you find it helpful!

Friday, 22 November 2013

Handmade Buttons

I have been super busy lately with a course I'm taking (medical transcription), so I have had less time to work on art and crafts.  However, as I have said before, I always find time to knit.

This is my latest finished sweater.

I used the Harwood pattern by Sarah Hatton from Fresh Fashion Knits.    I love this sweater!  It was really fun to knit, and it turned out exactly like I hoped it would.

The sweater in the book has unique buttons.  I used their shape for inspiration and made my own buttons out of polymer clay.

I made a cane out of burgundy clay wrapped with a thin layer of black.  I reduced, cut, and reassembled the cane many times until I had a complex cane made up of many amorphous shapes.  I used scrap clay to make the bead forms and then covered them with thin slices of the cane.  After baking the buttons, I sanded them and then polished them with a piece of old denim.  

I'm pleased with the way these turned out.  I will definitely make more buttons in the future.

Monday, 21 October 2013

A Dozen Cat Necklaces

These are my completed cat necklaces.  I drew the pictures using coloured pencils, scanned them, printed them on my inkjet printer, and then transferred the images to polymer clay.  The settings are made of either silver or gold polymer clay.  I made a paw print stamp and stamped the triangles on the bottoms of the settings with it.

I'm pleased with the way these turned out.  They're cute, but with a funky vibe.  To see more pictures of these necklaces, click the link to my Etsy site.

Now I really want to make some bird necklaces.  I'm not sure why I haven't already done that, since I've chosen Willowbird Studio as my shop name!