Two purples here – both a similar colour but with different saturations. They’re both described by CiM as moonstones, so have a little bit of mistiness and aren’t entirely transparent.
The two spacers on the right are etched – you can see they didn’t etch well in the time I left them in, when it was fine for the opaques coming later. This wasn’t entirely surprising, as it tends to happen with moonstones and more transparent opalinos. In hand you can see more easily the slight mistiness of the moonstone.
I made a gremlin – the body has a core of clear, so lightening it up a bit. This gremlin has been experimenting with cosmetics! I added some Gaffer purpur frit on the lips to prevent the teeth showing through, because this colour isn’t dark enough to block that.
This egg has a stripe of Aladdin round the centre – that was a couple of wraps, allowed to melt down and spread. It’s a low saturation with a shadowy edge. (The other colours are caboose and chamomile – chamomile is yellower over the white, and something in the heating and rolling of the surface has made caboose misbehave somewhat with slight devit).
The more saturated moonstone. I had a thicker rod of this, which may have had something to do with it, but I found this one pretty shocky and kept losing chunks when I was carefully rewarming it. It seems to lose heat relatively quickly too, so make sure you’re keeping your bead warm.
Boysenberry again doesn’t etch well, and is really dark when used as spacers. You can still tell they’re purple rather than black, but only just. It’s a good berry colour.
This gremlin again has a clear core, and you can see slightly that it lightens the body. No problem with being able to see through the lips here!
This egg is Effetre white with small and large dots of boysenberry, allowed to move with the heating and shaping. You can see the difference in saturation between the different dot types – the small ones have spread a lot more – and the white has formed separation lines between the dots.
Here’s the two colours side-by-side, so you can see the difference in saturation.
This post has been sitting here awaiting the photos for a month or more, so here we are!
I decided I’d get round to getting a sewing machine this year.
I recently joined the Wandsworth Work & Play Scrapstore (http://www.workandplayscrapstore.org.uk). A friend of mine volunteers there.
It’s a rummageable cave full of crafting goodies of all types. I was looking for fabric specifically, so came home with a whole pile of fabric: some bigger bits of cotton, some nice patterned pieces, some small matching bundles and several sample books of interesting and brightly-coloured stuff. There’s a whole mixture of things available, from high end prints to blackout material. The fabric is mostly intended for upholstery, but there’s a smaller section for dressmaking fabric and very helpful ladies who know what’s what. (And tbh, some of the upholstery material would be fine for making clothes from anyway!)
They have loads of all sorts of other stuff: white card, rolls of wallpaper, colour-coordinated boxes of plastic lids… There’s a section with loads of Christies auction books, and for people who do book art there are green and gold bound Dickens novels and the like.
For this store, you pay an annual membership and can then take as much as you like during that time. Some things are limited on the amount you can have per visit. You can join as a student, a family or a larger organisation like a school. Or speak to them if you’re not sure you fit in the categories. The rule for this store is that everything has to be for personal use – you cannot sell it or things made from it. Yearly membership for individuals is tiny: £36 for a family, and there was a 20% discount when I joined. (They have a static year rather than a rolling one right now, so my membership is until the end of August). They want more members so tell anyone you think might be interested!
For their records, you give them an estimate of the value of everything you’re walking out with (they help with this). We reckoned I had at the very least £150-worth of fabric I was lugging out with me, and that was probably on the low side.
To get there: From Wimbledon station, you can get the 493 bus from stop A on Alexandra Road and go 7 stops in very short order which deposits you right outside (Hazelhurst Estate stop). It isn’t immediately obvious: on exiting the bus, turn left and go a few meters along until there’s a driveway. Turn up that and walk to the gap between buildings: they had a sandwich board up there and the entrance is just on the left. You may need to buzz. Children under 12 aren’t allowed to go among the stacks (potentially hazardous) so would need to stay in the entrance. Open Tues and Thurs only.
There are scrapstores all over the place, have a look at https://www.scrapstoresuk.org. They are each run individually, so have different rules for membership or whether they have members at all.
Because of the opening hours I can only go there when I’m on holiday, but since it was more than worth it for one visit, that’s not really a problem!
I am intending to begin by making some bags for Beads of Courage UK: the kids need bags to keep their long strings of treatment beads in, and it seemed a handy and fairly simple project to begin with. I like this tutorial: How to make a simple drawstring bag from Love Me Sew.
As of now, I’ve washed and ironed various of the fabrics I bought. Yes, I had to buy an iron and ironing board for this. (Aside: I could get an Argos value iron on sale for £2.99. The only ironing board I could find was from TK Maxx at £24.99 and has a 10-year guarantee! Insert something about disposable electronics here. The board is rather nice though, adjustable with plenty of height).
My sewing machine is a nice hefty metal-bodied secondhand Frister & Rossmann Model 35. No bells and whistles, but I wanted one that wasn’t plastic and would do a small number of things reliably to begin with. I’ve been making friends with it by trying out all the stitch adjustment options, rethreading the machine in white (came with black), filling a new bobbin and overcasting the edges of my fabric so it doesn’t fray. (Which is actually a decent exercise to get used to using your machine and controlling the speed, going in a straight line etc).
I got a lovely big pile of new colours to test and then had kiln controller issues, which means so far I have only had time to try these two!
This colour surprised me! Look at the difference between the rod colour and (most of) the beads. Those spacers were batch annealed because of the aforementioned kiln problems, and before they went in the kiln they were much more like the rod colour – still swirly with transparent and less transparent areas, but a yellow ochre rather than a green ochre. The gremlin went into the kiln straight away, and they all came out like this! Which frankly I find far more interesting.
A spacer close-up: I etched the left two. I’m not what I did to the warmer-coloured one differently than the others – struck it less? The stripe round the middle suggests I added a small last amount of glass to match size with the previous one. (Which I did, though I couldn’t tell you with which bead).
End-on: those green variations make me happy! The rightmost bead in particular: I just find the distribution pleasing.
I made a gremlin with little red flowers. You can see it’s opaque enough as lips and eyelid, but there’s still glow and reflected light from transparent/translucent areas. The feet are yellower and more transparent – they were done towards the end, just before I added the vine, so they get much less in-and-out of the flame. There’s an area on top of the lip that’s gone yellow again too. That’s next to where I heated and raked a bit of the vine, so that’s consistent with it being the initial colour and the green developing as it strikes more, unless you reset it.
Overall, the swirliness and colour differences remind me of some of the Vetro odds, but a lighter, non-cored colour. I’d like some more, which I hadn’t thought I would from the rod alone.
This is a coral red. It does look slightly darker here under my halogen light than under incandescents or sunlight, but it doesn’t change nearly as much as some reds. It’s pretty uniform and not streaky, which can again be an unwanted issue with many opaque light reds.
Spacers, left two etched.
A little gremlin with steely blue flowers.
This one’s quite a small gremlin!
The last two are a pair of pretty transparents.
Ice Floe is a lovely pale icy blue. Gorgeous on its own in nuggets. The bead at the back has a base of Effetre clear, rolled in silver leaf and encased in Ice Floe – the silver’s definitely silver, so this could be a handy encasing colour to prevent it going gold. For the ribbed bead, I did a small core of Notos, which has lost most of the iridescence leaving a slightly aqua-tinged centre. Ice Floe did develop some trails of microbubbles in all these beads, but that’s less of a problem in a colour like this – they look watery not scummy. I don’t think I really noticed while making the beads, or I could have tried working it a little differently.
Trapeze is another dark lavender-alike… but this one looks and photographs as purple under halogens rather than blue! It does look *more* purple in sunlight, but it definitely colour-shifts far less than the others. So if that shift annoys you, this is a fab alternative. For the ribbed bead, I encased a base of Double Helix Psyche. That worked much better here than the last time I tried it!
So in sunlight it still has a lot more oomph… but if you weren’t looking at the two pics side-by-side like this, the above one still gives a better impression of the purple than the baby blue you get with dark lavender.
Mahogany is a really nice warm opaque brown, that is properly brown rather than dark red.
I used Tiger Lily for the pumpkins on this gremlin, and you can see that the opacity varied a lot. Some of the pumpkin segments stayed very transparent.
These bicones have a base of Mahogany, with a wrap of Poppy round the centre, and the largest has a thin wrap of Tiger Lily on top of that. This was in the same sessions as the gremlins, so I didn’t actually know they weren’t opaque at that point! Tiger Lily especially looks pretty opaque in the rod. So the result is rather more subtle than I was expecting.
Cobblestone is a nice slightly brownish grey. Fairly uniform and non-streaky here.
I used Double Helix Okeanos on top of Cobblestone here (unreduced), and got some fab colours! The Cobblestone has fumed darker and browner around the dots especially. Showing both sides, as one is bluer and one greener.
I decided to do more combos with Mahogany. These are small rounds with a tiny core of clear, to make my rod of Mahogany go further. Definitely a true opaque! I wrapped one in fine silver wire, the next has a wrap of SIS, then Cobblestone dots, a spiral of black, and finally spreading dots of Reichenbach Kermit (a special: SPL1000).
I did the same thing with Cobblestone, here you go:
They’re both nice colours to use like this, and look great with each other, both staying crisp in the dots. They are both somewhat reactive with the silver, ivory and green, but not overwhelmingly so.
This gremlin is made of Whisper, which I liked better than I thought I would! It stays far more opaque than expected – again, the body is over clear and has a bit more misty translucence, but the lips are opaque enough not to let the teeth show through (which is good as it can look kinda scary!). This is rather like Frangipani, but a bit less pink, I think. Like a very diluted one of the plum uniques. It gets the same slight webbing on the surface as you work it.
This rod of Whisper was pretty shocky – I had to baby it back into the flame to stop it shocking off above where I had been working, and when adding the upper lip I must have got the flame too close to a cooler section, as it shocked right off, leaving me with a half-applied lip ending in a centimetre of rod.
In hand to make it stand out a bit better from the background.
Primrose is a rather pretty pink (but primroses are yellow!). This rod was really shocky though – worse than Whisper – and it would crack about an inch above the end every time I took it out of the flame and put it down, so when I next had to use it, I needed to not only bring it back slowly high up in the flame, but make sure I got that whole bottom inch heated up before using it. Again, it cracked off while doing the top lip. The actual colour is really nice, and the glass is fine to work with once molten, but you do need to be careful. I imagine using this for one-at-a-time dots would strain one’s patience.
I don’t know if this will be the case with all rods of Primrose or if this was a particularly nasty one, but for a rod without airbubbles running through it this was pretty bad (those just tend to explode in all directions). I was using it alongside a thick Effetre clear rod for the cores, which can have a tendency to crack at the end when cooling just because it’s bigger, hence needing to go back in carefully enough to melt those cracks (but they do heal quickly again). That was far less hassle to use than the Primrose. I don’t even know if keeping the end preheated would help, because it might just shock above that.
A lot of rods do the “crack a bit when you put them down” thing, but usually it’s just at the tip and there’s no real problem. What was unusual here was how far down it cracked, which is what made it harder to use. I use a rod rest, so wasn’t putting it down on a surface either.
Coronation Day is a dark opal purple. I like this one – nice to use, pretty colour. It’s very like some of the darker plum uniques, again, but I’d need to put them side by side to check differences. You may be able to see here – the feet and bottom lip have opacified and lightened more, while the top stayed darker and more translucent. This is the same thing a lot of the CiM opals do, and depends on how much heating and cooling they get after the last time they were molten (and mayybe on kiln position too). I added the little yellow flowers on the head after doing the feet, but didn’t melt the head while doing that.
Bubblebath is a similar shade to Whisper in a pale rose quartz kind of way, but far more translucent. The body over clear is very transparent, and I didn’t even try using it for the lips and eyelid, so those are Coronation Day again. I should do some transparent styles of bead with this – could be interesting encasing something shiny, and should make lovely nuggets on its own.
Creation Is Messy have sent me some more colours to test!
This post is for some juicy reds and oranges.
Tiger Lily is a semi-opaque/semi-transparent orange (whichever way round you prefer to describe these!). I used a core of clear for these gremlins, so you can see where that changes or doesn’t change the body colour. Here you can see there’s a difference between the body and lips, but the body is still opaque enough not to see through. It is also streakier.
Poppy is a bright light red, also semi-opaque. It came out fairly uniform here, whether over clear or not.
Heartthrob is a darker semi-opaque red, more of a blood red. This colour darkens more under halogens than the others, so is a tad brighter in sunlight, but still darker than Poppy. Again quite uniform in colour.
Cinnamon Jelly is streakier and more transparent than the others – you can see that a bit at the corners of the mouth. It’s a dark orange-red.
Here’re the red gremlins side-by-side.
I also used these four colours to make dots over Effetre white. Tiger Lily and Poppy had a bit of a tendency to bubble on the rod as I was making dots, which are the smeary ones. Possibly should have done that cooler. I had the base shape a little smaller on the other two, so they fit the press better and were worked less.
Side by side, which stops the white bases melding into the background.
I made a pair of nuggets in each colour as well. You can see that Cinnamon Jelly is definitely the streakiest, and also the least opaque when used solidly like this. Tiger Lily and Poppy are lovely and bright, and again Heartthrob can look a little brighter in sunlight.
ETA: Here’s a pic in sunlight.
You can see Heartthrob is lighter, though we also have a problem with them all being oversaturated by the camera… The Heartthrob gremlin on its own is a reasonably accurate representation.