Slate stack earrings

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I while ago I started making stack beads from polymer clay. The rustic look reminded me of the dry stone walls around Cumbria which I love. So I made more beads in slaty grey for earrings. I have now, finally, got round to listing them in my Etsy shop.

Earthy slate stack earrings by Cate van Alphen

Earthy slate stack earrings by Cate van Alphen

Mossy green slate stack earrings by Cate van Alphen

Mossy green slate stack earrings by Cate van Alphen

Slate and starling wing earrings by Cate van Alphen

Slate and starling wing earrings by Cate van Alphen

Enjoy ;).

Indigo colour palette recipes

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I’m a little bit late posting my colour recipes for the next step in my 2015 Spectrum Year (if you don’t mind, just hop in your time machine and read this last Tuesday). We went away for the weekend and all of a sudden it was time for indigo! I’m beginning to suspect that I could spend a whole year on each palette :o.

These recipes are for Fimo Professional, and the numbers represent percentages. I wrote a blog explaining how I use them for mixing colours.

markethues4Indigo palette swatches

Mid Blue Grey

  • 65 white
  • 10 true magenta
  • 23.5 true blue
  • 1.5 black

Dark Blue

  • 30 true magenta
  • 70 true blue

Indigo

  • 59.5 true magenta
  • 39.5 true blue
  • 1 black

Chocolate

  • 50 white
  • 17 true yellow
  • 25 true red
  • 8 black

Beige

  • 99 white
  • 0.45 true yellow *
  • 0.05 true green *
  • 0.5 black

* (0.5% mix of 90 true yellow 10 true green)

Light Grey

  • 95 white
  • 1.5 true magenta
  • 3.5 true blue

The colours don’t adhere very strictly to the inspiration palette because I wanted the schemes to play nicely together. I decided to increase the differences between the indigo and the purple palettes so the purples are more blue. I also desaturated the green to a beige colour rather than introduce another green (the ones in the green palette were too bright for the other colours).

Yum, those hints of purple are starting to make me drool :).

Polymer clay challenge week 30 – toggle

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We were away this weekend, so I’ve kept my 2015 Polymer Clay Challenge piece pretty simple this week. I made a pair of shank buttons using the blue kaleidoscope cane from last week.

Shank buttons by Cate van Alphen

Shank buttons by Cate van Alphen

I think they’d make a nice pair of vintage style clip on earrings :). Maybe I should make another pair without the shanks so I can glue on earring findings?

Blue kaleidoscope buttons by Cate van Alphen

Blue kaleidoscope buttons by Cate van Alphen

Like last week, I cut out the pattern slightly off centre – although I think I should have offset the pattern a bit more to get the asymmetric look I wanted.

Polymer clay challenge week 29 – beads

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My daughter woke me up early this week so I made a kaleidoscope cane using my blue palette. Unfortunately I didn’t end up with that much time to actually make beads, so I’ve only got one pair of headpins to show for this week of the 2015 Polymer Clay Challenge.

Blue polymer clay headpins by Cate van Alphen

Blue polymer clay headpins by Cate van Alphen

I cut the sheet of kaleidoscope pattern out of alignment (on purpose), so the patterns on each side are slightly different.

Kaleidoscope pins by Cate van Alphen

Kaleidoscope pins by Cate van Alphen

I made earrings using some of the green headpins I made and it was so much fun I think I’ll probably do the same with these.

Kaleidoscope headpins by Cate van Alphen

Kaleidoscope headpins by Cate van Alphen

Magma bead necklace

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I don’t usually find time to make much more than my weekly beads for the Spectrum Challenge, but I did manage to finish this micro macrame and chunky bead necklace.

Magma bead necklace by Cate van Alphen

Magma bead necklace by Cate van Alphen

It’s quite a relief to finally finish it as I bought the red accent beads to go with the polymer clay focal bead more than two years ago!

Magma focal bead necklace by Cate van Alphen

Magma focal bead necklace by Cate van Alphen

I also made a polymer clay and wire toggle clasp to complete the necklace.

Polymer clay toggle clasp by Cate van Alphen

Polymer clay toggle clasp by Cate van Alphen

I think it would look great with a steampunk corset dress. Although, sadly, I don’t have one to check ;).

Polymer clay challenge week 28 – focal

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I wanted to do something a bit different for the blue focal beads I made this week of my 2015 Polymer Clay Challenge. I started off with some dissolving packing peanuts which I threaded onto wire and wrapped with strings of polymer clay. I couldn’t find my extruder, so the snakes are more irregular and shorter lengths than I had intended. Then I added some spots and dots both for decorative purposes and for structural support to keep adjacent strings joined.

Wrap focal detail by Cate van Alphen

Necklace focal detail by Cate van Alphen

After I’d baked it, I dissolved the packing peanuts in water. I left gaps because I wanted the interaction of internal and external space, but I think I took it too far. As I was contemplating if it would be structurally sound, I dropped it and it broke in two places. I set about repairing it with liquid clay and more dots, but each time I baked it to cure the new clay it broke in a new place (I think due to the polymer clay being softer when warmed up).

I also made a focal flower bead using thick slices of cane which was safer bet both structurally and aesthetically.

Focal flower bead by Cate van Alphen

Focal flower bead by Cate van Alphen

Blue polymer clay focals by Cate van Alphen

Blue polymer clay focals by Cate van Alphen

Then I decided I liked the two pieces together, so I attached the flower bead using fine wire and glass seed beads.

Flower focal by Cate van Alphen

Blue flower focal by Cate van Alphen

Blue necklace focal (back) by Cate van Alphen

Blue necklace focal (back) by Cate van Alphen

I added a few more dots to cover up the wire joins and when I baked those it broke again :(. Now we’ve reached a truce – I won’t touch it, and it won’t break anymore. So it’s an interesting look, but I need to work out some structural issues.

Time travel earrings

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These earrings don’t allow you to travel through time, and they are not from the future. Instead I made them a couple of weeks ago, but I’ve only just got round to photographing them, so they are a bit out of sync with my 2015 Polymer Clay Challenge posts. So it’s not quite as exciting as it sounds, but I think they are nice earrings.

Water lilies bead earrings by Cate van Alphen

Water lilies bead earrings by Cate van Alphen

They feature my double-sided sequin beads, so the underside is a lighter blue.

Water lilies bead earrings by Cate van Alphen

Water lilies bead earrings by Cate van Alphen

I also made some earrings with just the sequin beads.

Sequin stack earrings by Cate van Alphen

Sequin stack earrings by Cate van Alphen

It’s hard to convey in the photographs the way the colours change with the viewing angle.

Sequin stack earrings by Cate van Alphen

Sequin stack earrings by Cate van Alphen

Polymer clay challenge week 27 – bead

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I spent far to long making beads this week, considering the amount of unpacking I still need to do.

Polymer clay beads by Cate van Alphen

Polymer clay beads by Cate van Alphen

I started off last week making some double-sided sequins to go with the water lilies beads. I made some earrings too which I’ll try to show you soon. (My to-do list is experiencing a bit of a traffic jam.)

Sequin beads by Cate van Alphen

Sequin beads by Cate van Alphen

Then I listed a pair of earrings on Etsy, and I thought it would be fun to make more gradient stack beads in blue.

Gradient stack beads by Cate van Alphen

Gradient stack beads by Cate van Alphen

The rustic stack beads came out longer than I had expected so I thought they’d be good in a necklace. So then I had to make some spacer beads to go with them.

Blue beads by Cate van Alphen

Blue beads by Cate van Alphen

Then, because I’d made more than 3 beads the same, I came up with these beads which I think of as “tutu beads”. I made a pair, thinking of earrings, but I think they will become the focal of the necklace I have in mind. I just need to order some findings so I can complete it. I’ll put that onto my to-do list…

Tutu beads by Cate van Alphen

Tutu beads by Cate van Alphen

Polymer clay challenge week 26 – toggle

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This week I decided to make a polymer clay toggle to go with the water lilies beads I made previously. I still haven’t got round to working out more interesting mechanics for the toggles so it’s back to the circle and bar design.

Water lilies, focal toggle by Cate van Alphen

Focal toggle by Cate van Alphen

It is pretty chunky though.

Water lilies, focal toggle by Cate van Alphen

Focal toggle by Cate van Alphen

I feel a necklace coming on ;)

Water lilies, focal toggle by Cate van Alphen

Focal toggle by Cate van Alphen

Polymer clay challenge week 25 – bead

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This week, week 25 of the 2015 Polymer Clay Challenge, I made blue beads. I used the fragments from drilling the big beads last week to make some “frit” beads.

Water lilies frit beads by Cate van Alphen

Water lilies, polymer clay frit beads by Cate van Alphen

I like the painterly effect created by adding mica powder unevenly.

Water lily frit beads by Cate van Alphen

Water lilies, polymer clay frit beads by Cate van Alphen

They remind me of Monet’s paintings of water lilies, so that’s what I’ve named them. ;)

Frit beads by Cate van Alphen

Water lilies, polymer clay frit beads by Cate van Alphen

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