Shards

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Here’s my next selection of items available for sale in my Charity Auction. I didn’t make them specifically for the auction but, since they were made from shards of accidentally smashed crockery, I thought they were appropriate. They are a symbol that perhaps something can be salvaged from destruction.

Orange shard necklace by Cate van Alphen

Orange shard necklace by Cate van Alphen

This wire choker necklace has a focal pendant made from a piece of broken saucer. I have finished the sharp edges with orange polymer clay and added a gold shimmer. The necklace also has magenta dyed stone beads and matching polymer clay spacers.

Quirky hair clip by Cate van Alphen

Quirky hair clip by Cate van Alphen

My next shard creation became a hair clip. It includes an arrow shaped piece of floral ceramic edged with gold coloured polymer clay and accompanied by a blue rose and a small red glass nugget. The moulded flower shape originally came from a vintage brooch.

If you like any of these items please consider bidding generously – all the proceeds will go to the British Red Cross who are assisting the survivors of the Grenfell Tower disaster.

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Love, hearts, pink and pretty

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I have been horrified watching the events unfold at Grenfell Tower. I felt the need to make something pink and fluffy as a distraction from the dark thoughts in my mind. I kept thinking about the charms made by Brooke Bock that I received in the 2016 Art Charm Swap. In fact this gave me the idea to run a Charity Auction to benefit the British Red Cross.

Charms by Brooke Bock

Charms by Brooke Bock

Here’s the necklace I made specifically for the auction. I paired Brooke’s pendant with some salmon/pink/magenta seed pod beads that I made myself from polymer clay. They are on a baby pink cotton cord with even more pink beads.

Heart necklace by Cate van Alphen

Heart necklace by Cate van Alphen

For the Love charm I decided to keep things simple. I added a trigger clasp so it could be used as a handbag charm. I added a dangle of green dyed lava beads. I liked the colour contrast and I thought it was fitting because they have come from fire.

Love charm by Cate van Alphen

Love charm by Cate van Alphen

I also decided to include these lava bead and wire earrings. They were sitting on my desk waiting for new photos to be taken and I thought since the beads matched they should go too.

Lava bead earrings by Cate van Alphen

Lava bead earrings by Cate van Alphen

Since I couldn’t get enough pink and pretty I added these bead earrings. They are made using very fine vintage beads with tiny rosebud flowers. They are dainty and sugary sweet.

Pink earrings by Cate van Alphen

Pink earrings by Cate van Alphen

I do hope you are tempted to bid. The auction ends on Sunday 9th July 2017. Until then, please also share the link.

Thanks!

Angel of the Blank Canvas

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After deciding to do a charity auction for the British Red Cross, I knew I wanted to include an angel painting. She is made from polymer clay on canvas.

Angel painting by Cate van Alphen

Angel painting by Cate van Alphen

Barbara McGuire The angel is based on Barbara McQuire’s class on Polymer Clay Adventure.

Barbara included the word “Hope” in her image, but as I was thinking of the unfolding layers of horror emerging from the Grenfell Tower fire I had no words. So she is the Angel of the Blank Canvas. I can only hope that the survivors are able to heal the holes in their lives and make space to start over.

Angel painting detail by Cate van Alphen

Angel painting detail by Cate van Alphen

Still she is not completely alone. I’ve added some swirls to the surrounding space which when seen in the right light are silver. This represents all the people who are working to help the victims and the generous donations that are flowing in.

If you like my angel and would like to make a donation of your own, you have until 9th July 2017 09:50 BST to bid on her. 100% of the proceeds will go to the British Red Cross. Even if you don’t want to bid, you could really help by sharing the link – Thanks!

 

Charity Auction

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There have been a couple of terrible incidents in England recently but the one that has haunted me most has been the tragedy at Grenfell Tower. I kept thinking: “If only I could send some of the love and care that I lavish on my beads to those involved.”

Angel painting by Cate van Alphen

Angel painting by Cate van Alphen

Finally it occurred to me that the most practical way to do this was to convert some of the things that I’ve made into cash. Therefore I have decided to run a charity auction on ebay. 100% of the proceeds will go to benefit the British Red Cross who are helping the survivors of the fire and those involved in the terror attacks.

Heart necklace by Cate van Alphen

Heart necklace by Cate van Alphen

I have made some items especially for the auction and collected together a few other things that I have made recently, or which seemed appropriate. I’ll be writing more about the items individually in the next few days.

Here’s the auction link, although items are only scheduled to go live from 10am on Sunday morning. I’ll be starting the bids as low as I can so you may get a bargain, but I hope you will bid generously.

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New Earrings, New Backgrounds

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Here are a few pairs of earrings that I have made recently. I’ve also been playing around with the backgrounds in my photos. Please let me know what you think. 🙂

Violet pinstripe barrel bead earrings by Cate van Alphen

Violet pinstripe barrel bead earrings by Cate van Alphen

Purple flower earrings by Cate van Alphen

Purple flower earrings by Cate van Alphen

Earrings by Cate van Alphen

Yellow retro bead earrings by Cate van Alphen

Yellow retro bead earrings by Cate van Alphen

Sunset square earrings by Cate van Alphen

Sunset square earrings by Cate van Alphen

Blue summer pendant

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It’s been a while since I last wrote a blog. I have been making things, but I have also been doing some rearranging (my time, my room and my photography), so it hasn’t filtered through to the blog yet. The Art Fair went well, so I have been making more jewellery featuring my Spectrum Palettes. Here’s a pendant I made in my Blue colours.

Blue pendant by Cate van Alphen

Summer Pendant by Elena Marunich The design is from a tutorial on the 2017 Polymer Clay Adventure by Elena Marunich. It’s pretty big so it’s quite a statement piece.

Polymer clay pendant by Cate van Alphen

I have been experimenting with different backgrounds in my photos (trying both more texture and pure white product shots). You can see more examples of my experiments on my Patreon post.

Overground Underground

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I will be taking part in the Art & Craft Fair as part of Ingleton’s Overground Underground festival this year. You will be able to find me at the Ingleton Community Centre on 28th & 29th May 2017. If you are in the area it would be great to see you.

Red earrings by Cate van Alphen

Red Palette earrings by Cate van Alphen

Green earrings by Cate van Alphen

Green Palette earrings by Cate van Alphen

You may have noticed the beautiful pottery I use in my photography. This is made at Ingleton Pottery. The pottery is open year round, but during the festival you will be able to make your own pot (see pg. 14).

I recommend sending the more energetic members of the family off for some Extreme Canyoning so that you can browse in peace. There’s lots more art to see in the area (Lunesdale Arts Trail), and several other outdoor activities (does caving count as outdoors?), so it’s definitely worth a visit.

Easter Egg 2017

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Every year I try to make some (or one) polymer clay easter eggs. I started this one on Good Friday and I finished on Easter Monday.

Polymer clay Easter Egg by Cate van Alphen

Really? It took that much time? It looks pretty simple to me. Yes indeed! But inside there’s a…

Fairy garden egg by Cate van Alphen

…tiny Fairy Garden. The lid is lined with purple velvet and studded with little silver beads to look like the night sky. Irritatingly I had to do this twice because the first time the velvet was too thick and the lid wouldn’t close. Luckily I found out before the glue had fully dried.

The idea was inspired by Lisa Loria’s Fairy Garden Ring tutorial on Polymer Clay Adventure. As you can see I got pretty carried away with the detail.

Fairy garden by Cate van Alphen

Here’s a picture to give some scale. The whole egg is about the size of a hen’s egg.

Fairy Garden by Cate van Alphen

When is a daffodil not a daffodil?

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The Spoonflower competitions this month are floral inspired. Given the time of year, I couldn’t resist doing something with daffodils. I used the colours from my Yellow Palette.

Daffodil fabric design by Cate van Alphen

The first theme is “Paper-Cut Florals” so I tried to keep the shapes simple and graphic. I didn’t think the cut-out look was coming across in the preview, so I did another design using elements of the daffodil design as texture. The idea is that the flowers are cut out from ornamental Japanese paper (chiyogami).

Yellow flower fabric by Cate van Alphen

Again some of the detail is lost in the preview, but it retains the cut-out look. If you like it please vote (open until 11 April 2017).

Yellow flower fabric by Cate van Alphen

Mini quilts

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My fabric designing has been on hold for a little bit while I waited for my test swatches to arrive. I’m planning to do something using my spectrum palettes and I wanted to check the printed colours before I got too invested. While I was waiting I decided to fill some empty frames with mini quilts made from my previous set of swatches.

Mini pink quilt by Cate van Alphen

It’s the first time I’ve done quilting and I found it pretty addictive.

Mini flower quilt by Cate van Alphen

The mount windows are about 9cm x 9cm which is dinky, so they were tolerably quick to make.

Pink flowers on green, mini quilt by Cate van Alphen

I made these last week. Today my fabric swatches arrived, and I’m pleased with them so they are now for sale on Spoonflower.