Hand Made, Personalized and Teachable: About Face

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Good morning Crafthackers!

This Thursday, I’ve got a really cool vendor to show you. He is a jeweler out of Fergus, Ontario, and he makes all kind of amazing hand wrought or cast things. This is About Face. I say things because not all of it is jewelry. And the best part is that he teaches classes!

I met Tony at the Craftadian craft fair, here in Hamilton, and I was amazed by his workmanship, and quite enjoyed listening to him explain the different methods he uses to make his pieces. He’s very well versed in many different ways to make all kinds of different pieces, and they can range from necklaces to rings, bracelets and brooches to reliquaries. If you’re not sure what a reliquary is, it is a piece of jewelry or sculpture, made to hold some of the remains of a loved one. They are beautiful and let me tell you, at least around here, they are hard to find.

He works in precious metals, golds, silvers, along with really almost any gem you like. and you can not only buy something from his fabulolously whimsy collection, or you can have him design and make something for you himself.

Best of all, and I say this about many hand made artisans who I feature here (I can’t help that I meet supremely talented people), is that the quality is amazing, and his detail work is spot on.

Probably my favourite thing that this artisan does, is that he teaches classes. Now that’s fabulous in and of itself, but let me tell you the best part. He holds classes for couples to design and make their wedding rings. I know. I just about fell over with how fantastic I thought that idea was.

 

So, now that you’re definitely hooked, take a look at his website, and you can follow him on Facebook as well as Instagram to see all the new and great stuff he’s putting out. Don’t hesitate to contact him with an idea for a special order. He’s creative and can design just what you’re craving.

 

Happy crafting!

~ Megan


Bellabagu: Silver and Pretty Things

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Hi there Thursday Crafthackers.

I have a wonderful artisan to share with you. She is a jewelry designer from Mississauga, which is just a hop, skip and a jump away from where I’m living. Her jewelry is all silver that she designs and puts together. She makes bracelets, earrings and necklaces, and I’ve seen them in person. They’re all classic in design, and yet very creative, all of them quite beautiful.

You can shop through her wares on her website, or you can visit her Facebook page to see what are the latest collections she’s cooking up.

I have a number of reasons why I love and was impressed by her designs. One of the big reasons is that she normally works with sterling silver. This might not seem important but I have so many friends who can’t wear any costume metals, just gold, silver or steel. And I love that you can get something like this as a gift for someone without worrying that their skin will fall off.

I also love that her designs have this beautiful combination of a timeless feel (like a string of pearls) but they certainly don’t feel old fashioned. The designs are creative and innovative while still having the ability to be worn as either statement pieces or as every day wear, depending on your style.

She also does custom work (see above photo), which, as you can see, turns out beautifully.

If you’re involved in all the social media, you can follow her on Twitter and on Instagram to keep up to date with all the latest that she’s putting out.

I hope that you enjoyed looking at the lovely sparklies. Don’t forget that Mother’s day is coming up, so if you’re local you can find something great for Mom, and there are lots of lovely ladies (myself included) who have birthdays they are celebrating in the summer, and ladies love a little bling.

Happy Crafting!

~ Megan


Teeny Tiny Sculpts

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Happy Sunday, all!

It’s been a very busy few weeks around here but as the weather continues to have it’s ups and downs, I hope everyone will be able to spend more time outside. If not, maybe we can help bring some of that lovely nature inside! If you drop in for Sunday posts on a regular basis, you know that I have a little obsession with all things cute…and it’s time for more! I stumbled across this wonderful artist on Etsy that makes beautiful micro-mini sculptures that I will absolutely have to make mine. Iko, working under the studio name ChikoCraft creates wondrous little tiny worlds in bottles, detailed miniature jewelry, and adorable trinket dishes out of clay, ceramics, and resin:

I very delightedly scrolled through the pictures of her sculptures, simply amazed by the details she achieves at this size:

I mean, look at the fine details on the lily pads and froggies!

I also enjoyed some of the little surprises she includes in some of her jewelry, like these stamp necklaces. So simple from the side, yet they have a working seal for putting your mark of choice on anything at the bottom:

 

Of all the lovely little things she had to offer, though, my favorite things (which I must utilize in the near future) is Iko’s custom pet sculpts. That’s right, she will take pictures of YOUR little fur (or maybe not so furry) babies and create tiny replicas of them for you to wear:

How perfect are these?!

I have a feeling I will be owning two new kitty pendants in the near future and I promise to post pics when I get them. So if you would like to own a teeny slice of adorable from Iko, she can be found on Etsy, Facebook, and Instagram. If you have an hour or so to spare, I encourage you to get lost in her work.

Next week, I have a few ideas for Mother’s Day gifts as it’s coming up quickly here in the U.S.

Stay crafty!

~Laura

 


Hand Painted Jewelry

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Hey there Thursday Crafthackers!

I come to you today with a relatively new local (to GTA) designer who does one of a kind, hand painted jewelry. I met her at a local craft fair that featured lots of local, Canadian talent.It was lovely to see this small, local show filled with vendors of a very high caliber and selling a wide variety of things that were both unique, handmade, reclaimed, or a combination thereof. It’s here that I met Sue. She makes some of the most amazing hand painted jewelry, and every piece is unique since the combinations of colours and how the paints work together will be different each time.

She paints on a few different metals, but one of the main metals that she works with is copper, though she will also have some pieces out of titanium, Sue makes earrings, necklaces, and bracelets, and though they are not matched as a set, you can definitely match what is available to have a set.

I think what really caught my eye about her creations was not just that they were extremely reasonably priced, but that the colours were so vibrant. When you see these pieces in the light, especially out in the sunlight, the paint that she uses to create these lovely works of art really does come to life and becomes just radiant. She also coats the top with a resin  not only to preserve the paint but it somehow just makes these colours look so metallic and bright. I also don’t feel like I’m going to accidentally scratch some of it off in my day to day wear – I am not a graceful person at the best of times, and after a few wears, it’s still as good as new.

I highly recommend checking her out and seeing what she has on hand. You can find her shop here, as well as lots of photos on her Facebook page and Twitter.

I’ve worn my pieces from her multiple times already and had quite a few compliments, and I can’t wait to start seeing Sue at other shows through the year. Follow her page to see where she’ll be next!

Happy Crafting!

~ Megan


Indiana ComicCon is coming up!

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Good day and happy Wednesday! This is Kim with Fantastical Menagerie. This week I’ve been on supersonic prep for two shows I have coming up. This is my second year at both events, and they are two of my favorite ones!

This weekend you can find me at Indiana ComicCon, which is April 14-16. They are featuring some amazing guests, including Val Kilmer, Cary Elwes, Nichelle Nichols and Jewel Staite. More details of the show can be found here.

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Cookie Ring Tutorial

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Hi there and happy Wednesday! This is Kim with Fantastical Menagerie. I wanted to share this quick and simple project with you. It’s a cookie ring, using polymer clay for the cookies.

What you’ll need for this project is:

  • Premo clay in ecru and burnt sienna
  • an adjustable ring base of your choice.
  • A straight blade. You can use a knife, a tissue blade, or whatever you are comfortable with.
  • Somethjng for texture, either a texture mold or even some wrinkled up foil.
  • A miniature plate. You can check the miniature section of your hobby store, or even a toy store. It need to be oven safe to 275 degrees F.
  • Adhesive.

Steps:

  • Condition your clay by kneading it. Separate out three pea sized balls of ecru clay.
  • Flatten the balls, leaving them a little rounded like real cookies would be after baking.
  • Using your texture stamp or crumpled foil, add some texture to the cookies. 
  • Make some very tiny balls of your sienna clay. These are your chocolate chips. Randomly place them on your cookies, flattening the balls as you place them. 
  • Optional- add some bronze pearlX powder to simulate baking color. You can also do an acrylic wash with brown after baking instead.
  • Using adhesive, attach the cookies to the plate and bake in your oven. Premo bakes in an oven at 275 degrees F, and I would bake your plate for 30 minutes. After cooling, it can be attached using the same adhesive to your ring base.

If you don’t like rings, it can be done as a pendant, or even earrings.


The Solar System on your Finger(s)

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Inna Monastyrna of Etsy shop jamincjewelry has created a pretty cool set for all you space enthusiasts out there.

They have the full 9 planets as a stackable ring set that you can wear all on one finger or dispersed about your hand. Made from sterling silver and a combination of glass and stone beads, this set is pretty beautiful. The Jupiter one is especially on point with it’s coloring, but I also love that Pluto got love and was included in the set. Forever in my heart you will always be a planet.

It’s sold out right now, but you should definitely check out their shop for some more excellent jewelry. 😀


Fruit Tart Tutorial, Part 2

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Good Morning and Happy Wednesday! This is Kim, of Fantastical Menagerie. Today I’m bringing you the second half of my Fruit Tart Tutorial. The first part can be found here.

1. Roll out five small balls of Premo brand polymer clay in Pomagranate. Approx 4 mm in diameter.

2. Shape each one into a teardrop shape.

3. Flatten it slightly on your finger.

4. Using your needle ended tool, make small dots on the teardrop shape. They should be in alternating rows, all the way to the back end.

5. Place into the shell, with flat ends in the center.

6. Take the fifth berry, and add the green leaves to the top. Place it on top of the other four.

7. Optional- use green Pearl X on the leaves, and a dusting of the macro pearl on the berries for shine.

8. Put the finished piece into the oven. I would recommend 240 F, for approx 30 minutes. Once it cools, you can add findings to turn it into a pendant, earrings or a pin.

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Fruit Tart Tutorial Part One

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Happy Wednesday! This is Kim, with Fantastical Menagerie. Last week we talked about keeping clay soft in winter, today I’m going to start you on how to make fruit tarts in clay.

For this project, you need the following:

  • pastry shell mold, preferably silicone. You can find them on Etsy here
  • a small dollhouse plate
  • Sculpey Bake n Bond. This can be found in the polymer clay aisle.
  • Premo clay in ecru, pomegranate, and either green pearl or jungle green. You can get it from any craft or hobby store.
  • tweezers, needle tool, and flat blade or razor.
  • Optional: pearl x powders in Macropearl, green and antique bronze.

1. Condition your clay. Leave the red until last because the color transfers.

2. Take a small piece of the ecru clay, roll it into a ball, and press it into your mold.

3. Carefully remove your clay from the mold. If there is any excess, use your razor to trim it to shape.

4. Add a small amount of Sculpey Bake & Bond to the plate. Put your tart shell in the center over the adhesive.

5. Optional- use a brush and add a little Pearl X Antique bronze on the tart shell to simulate color from baking. Add a bit of Bake & Bond to the center of the tart.

6. Make your leaves for the strawberries. Roll two small balls of green clay into a teardrop shape. Flatten them, and use your needle to run a line down the center of each. Then use the needle to draw veins into the leaves.

7. Roll out five small balls of Premo Pomegranate clay. Approx 4 mm in diameter. These will become your strawberries.

This tutorial will pick up next Wednesday, where I will show you how to form the strawberries, and then put everything together to form the piece.


Beaded Dragon Brooches

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Okay, I know we’ve all dabbled in beads for bracelets and necklaces at one point. Maybe you used seed beads and a stand to weave one just made some nice jewelry, but these? These dragons are something else entirely.

This is one of many custom designs by Russian artist Alyona Lytvin, and they are all just jaw dropping amazing. They are made mostly from beads and thread, with some wire and paint reinforcements for the fins.

I know they’re brooches too, but man I’d just want to keep it as a decoration piece! No way I’d risk something happening to this!! I love the addition of the sequins as scales for the sea dragons. Man they’re just all so beautiful!

I wish I could give you more info about the artist and the process but little it up in English about it on the store front, so I’m afraid we all just have to admire the shop and wonder. Perhaps even buy one yourself so you can study it up close. 🙂