I wrote about my rag rug a couple of months ago. I must admit that it has lost momentum a bit now that I have mostly worked out the rest of the pattern, but I’m still working on it. Here is the latest progress:
It’s been a while since my last blog, so here’s a look at my current project. It’s a proddy rag rug. Inspired by hours looking at the rugs in Craftworkshop, I decided to give this a try since I have a lot of scrap fabric.
Of course I didn’t actually look at any tutorials, I just looked at the rugs in the shop and guessed how they were done. I’m using scraps of fleece fabric and a knitting needle for the prodding. I’m not using a frame, but perhaps I should be, since it’s curling a bit on the back. I suspect my scraps are a bit densely packed too, but I think it will be ok since there is a recess at my front door which I am making this to fit into. I’ll just jam it in and stomp it flat when I’m done.
I’m doing an abstract design, just planning it as I go. It’s like a very slow motion doodle and is strangely addictive. Often I find it helps keep me interested if I don’t plan things out too fully. It’s also satisfying finding a way to recycle my scraps of fabric.
If you’d like to see a pro making one, here’s a nice video:
And this pdf tutorial even gives instructions for making the tools you will need.
Update: Here’s a more recent photograph with further progress on my rug.
It seems my grotto bottle (which you may remember from week 23 and 24) has been waiting for the Art Charm Swap reveal*. Perhaps there is some quantum resonance as I planned to add some similar tiny frogs around the outside?
* Unfortunately the Art Charm Auction has been slightly delayed while Jen Cameron arranges a venue that will ensure all the proceeds go to Beads of Courage. I will share the link as soon as it starts… after I’ve made my bids 😉
The decoration is STILL not finished, but it is starting to look more interesting. I’ve added some glass gems, which I originally prepared for my Art Charms before deciding they were too big and starting again. I’ve linked them together with swirls of “silver” coloured polymer clay. I was thinking of them as metallic bones in the landscape, except they now look more like liquid mercury. Perhaps the rocks are bones, and these are more like veins.
I’m planning to add some moss and plants for the little quantum frogs now on my work board. There may be bugs and a fungal infection or two before I’m finished. I’ll see how it grows.
This week for my 2016 Polymer Clay challenge I have a sneak peek of a lantern that I’m making and another ballet-time bracelet.
I decided to do another lantern since the previous one I made was a bit disappointing when illuminated. This time I’m using glass nuggets so it should be more exciting when lit. I’ve only completed a small section, but it’s promising. I just hope it will hold together when I’m done since I’m intending to leave some gaps.
Unusually the sun came out today so we went for a walk down by the river. I always love finding interesting bits of pottery (it slows down my gardening considerably), and with all the recent flooding there was a bumper crop today. Here’s a small selection of what I found:
I don’t know how to tell the age of the shards, but some of them look pretty old to me. I find it amazing to think that pottery and its use has not changed much in centuries. Perhaps 100 years ago some of these shards were used for someone’s Christmas dinner.
I’ll clean them up and see if I can wire-wrap some of the pieces or incorporate them with polymer clay in pendants somehow.
I’ve had to accept a work in progress for this week’s focal bead. All the extra Christmas activities have been taking their toll on my time.
The pattern on the bead is a crushed helix (or reduced Damascus Ladder). I still need to finish the ends (I’m going to wrap a string of polymer around the domes) and sand the bead.
Maybe I’ll finish next weekend (sometime after I finish making Christmas gifts, and beads for next week’s challenge but before we go Christmas shopping)? Hmmm, ok, maybe not NEXT weekend, but surely before the end of the year? Oh wait, that’s only two weeks away!
I also made spacer beads from the other colours in my Violet palette.
I was going to make some more interesting beads to go along with them, but I didn’t manage to get to it.
Every time I start a new colour palette, I think I should make a cane that I can use throughout the weeks that follow, but I’ve never managed to do it. After watching Cat Therien’s frangipani cane tutorial on the Virtual Retreat, I was REALLY itchy to make a flower cane.
I decided to start by mixing up decent quantities of polymer clay, since it’s really annoying to run out of a colour part way through a cane. Then I realised my work board was pretty clogged up with sheets of veneer from previous palettes and other scraps of clay. So I decided to use up some of the left overs.
I made fold beads, and pillowed headpins. There are still some pieces of green kaleidoscope veneer that I haven’t used yet, and I want to do some sanding to finish them off.
Finally I started to measure out my colours and when I got to the last one, magenta, I discovered that I didn’t have a lot of it left. This was a bit of a problem since all the colours in the palette use it (yes even the grey green)! I had to start the colour measuring all over again to make smaller quantities (I decided to keep the larger quantities I had already measured aside to finish when my new magenta polymer clay arrives). In the end, I managed to mix a little of each colour, but by this point I only had time to make two petals for my flower cane.
So although I have made some things with polymer clay this week, my official target is still a WIP.
I was tempted to make more shank buttons this week for my indigo colour palette toggle, but then I realised time was running out for me to try some of the more interesting toggle mechanisms I’d planned at the beginning of the year.
This clasp is formed from two hooks. By aligning the angular cut holes of the two pieces at 90°, they slide together to form a chain link. It’s very satisfying to open and close :D.
The clasp is based on one from a chunky wooden bead necklace that I found in a charity shop, but I’ve made mine from polymer clay instead of wood. It took a few prototypes to get this far, and it is still a work in progress.
The first couple of clasps were a bit too flexible for my liking, but I didn’t really want to make everything a lot bigger and thicker. I put wire inside the third attempt as reinforcement, but you can just see it peeping through on the inside of the hole.
From the photos above it looks like I’ve cracked it, but turn one of the hooks over and there’s wire sticking out. I lost track of which side had the gap in the wire for cutting the hole through, and I chose the wrong place. Doh!
I’ve given the link a good pull apart and although the loops do flex open slightly (the one without the wire noticeably more so) I think a necklace made using the clasp would survive a tug from a toddler. So on the bright side cutting the wrong side helps to prove that the wire does provide some support, but also that I need to think of a way to keep track of where to cut ;).