Just listed on Etsy

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I have been struggling to fit in everyday life and listing things in my Etsy shop. I took a month off from doing the listings, but I got really depressed at the thought that the jewellery I made would end up stuck in a box rather than having the chance of finding a good home to go to. So my new plan is to put aside one day a month every few weeks and do as many listings as possible.

Here’s what I managed to do today. They are old friends but with new photos.

Purple bead earrings by Cate van Alphen

Purple glass bead earrings by Cate van Alphen

Purple and silver bead earrings by Cate van Alphen

Purple and silver bead earrings by Cate van Alphen

Silk tassel earrings by Cate van Alphen

Silk tassel earrings by Cate van Alphen

Polymer clay bead earrings by Cate van Alphen

Polymer clay bead earrings by Cate van Alphen

Apple zing earrings by Cate van Alphen

Apple zing earrings by Cate van Alphen

Shoulder duster earrings by Cate van Alphen

Shoulder duster earrings by Cate van Alphen

Art Vessel – week 17

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I have been finding my weekly challenge to create vessels pretty difficult. Part of the inspiration to do the challenge was the fact that I have been collecting glass jars (among other things) for years but I never get around to decorating them. Even with the challenge I’ve only used three of them, and not been happy with two of those. So for week 17, I decided to employ some help.

Boudoir Bottle by Heather Campbell

Boudoir Bottle by Heather Campbell

More than two years ago I bought a tutorial by Heather Campbell for a Poly Fiber Boudoir Bottle. I bought all the supplies, and then I never got around to trying the project. I decided to start off (mostly) following the tutorial, but I’ve already got ideas for a couple of variations that I’m going to try.

Here’s my jar vase:

Vase by Cate van Alphen

Vase by Cate van Alphen

It was really helpful to start off with an interesting ground to decorate rather than a naked glass jar! There was also no cracking which was a problem with the first jar I did and which I think has discouraged me from totally covering a jar again.

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Polymer clay challenge – week 16

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My vessel for this week currently has plaster drying on it as I left it a bit late before starting. I am still finding this challenge to be hugely out of my comfort zone. This week I did manage to make some beads as I find those relaxing, so that’s what I have for my 2016 Polymer Clay Challenge.

Polymer clay components by Cate van Alphen

Polymer clay components by Cate van Alphen

I really enjoyed the shape of the beads I made for my Art Bead Scene earrings, so I made a few more in a succulent blue-green colour. I added a subtle glaucous edging with some blue interference mica powder.

The pendant started off as a way to use up some of the extra glaze from last week’s bowl, and when I got it out of the oven to put the beads in, I thought the greens went well together. So I added an organic, slightly ruffled edging in the same clay as the beads.

Polymer clay beads by Cate van Alphen

I’m planning to make a few more beads, and then I should have enough to make a necklace.

Fabric design challenge

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I have been playing around with more fabric designs. This time I made a pattern for the current spoonflower competition. The theme is “Japanese Garden”.

Japanese Lacquer Flower pattern by Cate van Alphen

Japanese Lacquer Flower pattern by Cate van Alphen

I guess I still had inro on my mind when I designed this!

Your chance to vote for the winner is open till the 27th if you’d like to join in. There are over 700 entries so make sure you have a cup of tea with you before you begin.

Art Bead Scene April Challenge

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I have made two pairs of earrings for the Art Bead Scene monthly challenge. I made the polymer clay art beads for them too. Here’s the inspiration painting:

Jacob’s Ladder by Helen Frankenthaler
Oil on canvas, 1957

Here are the earrings:

Earrings by Cate van Alphen

Earrings by Cate van Alphen

The first pair of earrings is smaller and the beads are more regular. I paired them with green crystal cubes and seed beads on niobium pins.

Earrings by Cate van Alphen

The second pair of beads I made were more organic and irregular. They reminded me of seed pods. I made them into longer earrings with a leaf charm at the bottom.

Earrings by Cate van Alphen

Art Vessel – week 15

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Just pretend that this blog entry is from yesterday. Here is my polymer clay Art Vessel for week 15.

Polymer clay bowl by Cate van Alphen

Polymer clay bowl by Cate van Alphen

I like the shape of the bowl, but the “glaze” inside didn’t work quite as I planned. I used ink in liquid polymer clay, and most of it ran into the bottom of the bowl. Next time I think I will try to set it a bit using a heat gun before curing in the oven.

Polymer clay bowl by Cate van Alphen

The brown colour was from metallic gold ink but it doesn’t show that well on the sides of the bowl. I quite like it in the puddle at the bottom of the bowl though.

Polymer clay bowl by Cate van Alphen

Bead Composition

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I like abstract art but, with two young children, I don’t get to do much painting. Then it occurred to me that I had some interesting repeatable components that I could use to create an abstract composition – beads.

Bead Composition by Cate van Alphen

Bead Composition by Cate van Alphen

This image started as a photograph of polymer clay beads I had made, which I then cut and repeated using a photo editing program on the computer. It’s not intended to be a realistic space but rather a meditative repetition of shapes.

I’m quite pleased with the image but since it’s the result of photo editing it only exists as a digital file, so I’m not entirely sure what to do with it now. I always find computer images a little disappointing because there isn’t anything real at the end.

 

Art Vessel – week 14

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This week I am still suffering from a lack of mojo, so my art vessel for week 14 of 2016 Polymer Clay Challenge is not particularly inspired. I liked the silly shape of my egg cup last week so I decided to make a little ring bowl.

Polymer clay ring bowl by Cate van Alphen

Polymer clay ring bowl by Cate van Alphen

The underside is a fine extruded snake spiralled around.

Underside of bowl by Cate van Alphen

For the inside I stamped a texture and added some green mica powder.

Mini bowl by Cate van Alphen

Art Vessel – week 13

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For this week’s Art Vessel I have made an egg cup for my Easter Egg. I did try last weekend to think of a way to make an egg-shaped box, but I didn’t think I’d get it done in time for Easter (not that I got the egg that I did do finished in time).

Egg and cup by Cate van Alphen

I made a mini bowl from polymer clay with the same decoration as the egg.

Polymer clay egg and bowl by Cate van Alphen

Inside I wanted to include a white peace poppy. I had intended to make a cane, but I’ve had a lurgy all week so I’ve lost my mojo. Instead I scratched a poppy image into the raw polymer clay and highlighted it with white acrylic paint. It’s not as good as the cane I pictured.

White poppy by Cate van Alphen

Lets hope I get some mojo back for next week of my 2016 Polymer Clay Challenge.

Purple and gold earrings

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Here are a few earrings in one of my favourite colour combinations: purple and gold. You can find them in my Etsy shop.

Purple and gold polymer clay bead earrings by Cate van Alphen

Purple and gold polymer clay bead earrings by Cate van Alphen

This pair has a touch of green to co-ordinate with the lucite flower beads.

Earrings by Cate van Alphen

Polymer clay and lucite bead earrings by Cate van Alphen

The last pair of earrings are more humble in that they are brown wood and orchid coloured Swarovski crystals, but they still seemed to want to accompany the more regal coloured earrings above.

Wood and crystal bead earrings by Cate van Alphen

Wood and crystal bead earrings by Cate van Alphen

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