This was another recycled/found and no-spend challenge.
“Using only found natural materials such as feathers, leaves, fir cones, twigs, whatever you can find in nature, make a wearable piece of art, such as a brooch, necklace, earrings, hair band, embellished hat, tiara etc.”
The thread for this Craft Pimp February 2014 challenge is here.
I have a small collection of beach pebbles I picked up at Brighton, so decided to use three of those. They’re a dark grey-brown-green and still quite glossy. I picked out a longer one for a pendant and two of roughly the same size for earrings. I used copper wire to wrap them securely, then patinated them with liver of sulphur until they were really black. I tumbled them to bring the copper back up to gunmetal, and hand-polished the top surfaces back some more.
The earwires are my niobium ones, which go well with antiqued copper. I hung the pendant on brown Greek leather cord.
We had to include a picture of it being worn, which is a bit tricky to photograph one’s self! So excuse the blurriness.
Inspired by Nuthin’ But A Nail Thing’s polka dot tutorial.
I went for some nice bright spring and summery colours. (Also, I might have to make beads in these colours, because they are rather nice. Not sure if I have a coral that is this pink though, I don’t usually use coral).
Dotty Fruit Salad
I used alternating base colours for my nails.
• Collection 2000 Lemon Soda
• Collection 2000 Fruit Salad
Lemon Soda is a similar colour to Miss Sporty’s Popcorn, but a warmer shade. Fruit Salad is a coral pink. They’re both pretty opaque, which is good for this. They are also both fast drying, which is very handy when you are layering lots of dots!
I used Seche Vite as a top coat because you want something fairly thick to go over the layers of dots. Though it may just be me, but it seems to be shrinking even faster than usual over these colours.
I used a dotting tool – it has one larger round steel ball end and one smaller. If you don’t have one, then anything with a rounded end works. I have used the end of a mandrel before, and a toothpick should do for small dots. Brushes are bad for making dots because they give you splodges instead.
Thumbs! (I trimmed my thumbnails down before they caught on anything, they were getting slightly impractical. As a nail biter, it is a novelty for my nails to get too long). See also experimenting with my camera’s timing option for the two-hand pics.
And one of each hand. The colours make me happy.
I should find a matte top coat sometime, because I think they would also look awesome frosted. I have three matte polishes, which I was unsure about at first, but I do really like the finish.
I did these at the end of last week (we were having a theme day at work).
Hazard Warning decals
• Miss Sporty – Popcorn
• Saffron London clear (for decal base)
• Black Sharpie marker
• Seche Vite top coat
I made the decal base on a ziplock bag like before. Then I started off using acrylic paint for the warning signs, but you need precise and sharp lines for these and doing that small enough with the consistency of tube paint wasn’t working for me. Sharpies write on most things, so I tried to see if they would write on dry polish – yep! You could draw directly on your nails too, but I wanted to do both hands so this way was easier. I left enough space around the decals for them to cover the entire nail, so there are no little edges to show up.
I put a couple of coats of Miss Sporty’s Popcorn as the base colour. This is a rather nice warm buttery yellow, no neon or green tinge. The brush was awful though – bristles sticking out and falling off and generally rough feeling. Strange, as the £1 Saffron ones have perfectly serviceable brushes.
Then a third coat to use as the one to stick down the decals – actually, two in total would have been fine. Popcorn is a fast-drying polish, so I didn’t wait long before applying the decal. I put them all on before filing the ends to remove the excess there and then using a brush and acetone around the sides. Add Seche Vite and presto.
The thumb got some bubbles trapped under the decal and there was the occasional smudge, but on the whole they worked incredibly well. (And of course, you don’t see little messes when they are at arm’s length!)
You can get Sharpies in all sorts of colours – I wonder if others work as well as the black does?
I used to frequent CGTalk’s Daily Sketch forum – it’s been an age, but I was reminded about it and had a go again. I am slowwww and out of practice! Each day you get given a topic and a time limit, and have to post what you managed in the time. (You can keep going, but you need to show what you did in the time limit). I’ve linked the CGTalk thread below.
This was done in the GIMP with a Wacom Graphire2 graphics tablet. That’s the old entry-level A6 tablet, now there is the Wacom Bamboo. (I’ve never had the need to upgrade. My boyfriend has a Bamboo – apparently the tips are much softer and need replacing fairly often. I’m still on my original one after umpty years).
I’m not going to be doing these every day, but I will attempt to do something now and then.
In the limited edition reds and oranges section, I have three transparents and two opaques.
Orange Crush, Firecracker and Rudolph
I left these trios of spacers on the mandrel so you could see what the striking is like. I deliberately struck all three colours, which was not difficult. Orange Crush is an orange that strikes from transparent to misty. The bottom of the furthest out bead is transparent while the top is cloudy.
Firecracker is a medium light red with orange tones – you can see that the end spacer is less struck and much more orange.
Rudolph is a true red, and has less colour variation in striking. The end bead is mistier but is still red.
I also made lentil beads and small dotty rounds which have a core of Effetre white encased in the colour and then white dots. You can see from the lentils that both the reds go quite opaque, while orange crush has streaky translucent and transparent areas.
One of the orange crush spacers cracked on one end – that end had a thicker layer of orange and you can see that it went more opaque and lighter than the other bead – may have had something to do with it?
CiM Ocher and Sunset
Ocher is CiM’s spelling, I would normally write ochre :p
Ocher is a greenish mustardy yellow. Sunset is an orange coral type of colour. I could see Sunset striking as I worked, but it doesn’t really seem to unstrike again so I got a more uniform colour than I was expecting.
You can see in the spacers that ocher is bit streaky and the sunset is pretty uniform even as spacers.
I made a gremlin out of each to see how they did sculpturally – there is still variation visible in the ocher. The only lighter part of the sunset gremlin was the soles of its feet, which you obviously can’t see here! They are done at the very end. I used marine for the little heart on the ocher gremlin, and the sunset one has a scar and an awesome little skull murrini by Jolene Wolfe (Kitzbitz Art Glass).
I did some random thin stringer trails over a background of Effetre black. You can see a little bit of colour variation in the sunset dots, and also that at this thinness they aren’t entirely opaque, particularly the ocher.
Last of all, I did some tiny ribbed cylinder beads with ocher, sunset and Effetre dark sky blue. Ocher and the dark sky blue react together a little to give a dark out line, while sunset doesn’t. What I find interesting here is how different the ocher looks with other colours next to it – it is much yellower when alongside the sunset. Dark sky blue on top of sunset has a tendency to fuzz out and spread at the edges instead of having a sharp line.
I used dark sky blue rather than turquoise as it tends to grey up less. I did give them a bath in Lime & Grime to remove any that there was.
A couple more comparisons between the limited edition colours.
Green Lantern is greener than absinthe or aloe juice, which are bluer. (Doesn’t show up so well here, but by eye it is). Aloe juice is also less saturated.
Marine is partway between trade winds and tuscan teal – it’s greener and lighter than trade winds but bluer than tuscan teal. None of them are anywhere near as dark as leaky pen.
With the opaque greens, I have included cardamom and Effetre grasshopper green. It Ain’t Easy Being is very much bluer, cardamom is heading more towards the lime end, mint chip is muted and grasshopper green is more saturated. The CiM greens can kind of give the same impression when you look at them one at a time, but they’re definitely different when side-by-side.
Here are the other CiM limited editions I tested at the weekend.
It Ain’t Easy Being
Greeeeeen! Not a Kermit green though, a light blue-tinged green.
I made a gremlin! (Over a core of clear). Marine behaved fine thus far making the little hearts on top of this green.
Here’s a comparison between It Ain’t Easy Being and Mint Chip, which was in the last lot of limited editions. The new green is a bluer one.
Flax is a very pale yellow transparent.
I did the heart to see if it did the faux boro effect with iris gold frit, like Effetre straw yellow. No! Ah well, bit of a fugly heart as a result. (The little hearts have marine or green lantern over It Ain’t Easy Being).
Hazelnut Mousse and Jupiter Storm
These are another pair in the beige range. Hazelnut mousse is on the left here. It strikes a little, as visible on one of the spacers, and is a warm beige. The heart with Double Helix psyche dots has gone a darker brown, as you would expect.
Jupiter storm is the interesting one. It starts as a grey beige and strikes to an orangey colour. Good for silver glass – the psyche dots are sharp and have little outlines. Unusually, it hasn’t fumed from the silver glass – the orange is from striking.
I made a gremlin too – this angle is to show that the psyche heart is right next to a more unstruck part that is still grey – no colour change from being next to the silver glass.
Gremlin! I like this colour – it works like Effetre tongue pink, but is sufficiently different. Tongue pink is white when unstruck, not greyish, and it strikes to a less orange hue than jupiter storm does. Tongue pink also fumes much more.
More to come next time – I have a fair few reds and oranges to test too.