Grumpy - and an octopus

I guess it was bound to happen.
You can't just go, buy a can of resin and expect it to work right away. A new technique, even if you just want to seal something, needs time. Practice. Patience. An increasing moon in the second house of Venus in retrograde.
Heck, yeah, I have no idea what I'm talking about!

But how embarrassing is it to say - I wanted to open the can and couldn't. There were two clasps on it and when I tried to take them off I broke my favorite pair of scissors (earned the hard way by spending too much money on cat food, it was a gift from my cat food shop, but it was such a good one!). Then I bent up the lid all the way around. It looked a little like modern art, but I tried to get IN there, thank you very much!
Finally I did. At first I thought there was a layer of whatever on it, but I guess it was dried whatever, eh, resin. I got rid of it and hopefully stuck a wooden stick into the resin. Ehm, wasn't that supposed to be kind of, eh, like, eh, liquid? Yes, that was exactly how I stood there. Actually my whole face was one big "eh".

I had read the instructions. This can had not been in the cold for a few days, so what was going on here? I read the instructions again, this time in Finnish. You never know what you miss if you only read the German ones. After noticing that I held the paper upside down, I went back to the German ones after all.
"Put the can in a hot water bath for 10 minutes." I'm not a cook, but that is my easiest exercise. Pot, water, stove, let the water sizzle, but not boil. 10 minutes exactly. Ping.
Another attempt at stirring the mass, but this time it tried to eat the wooden stick. I checked the can again. There, it said "resin", not "alien sticky blobby mass from Vungula IV". Hm, maybe another 10 minutes. Maybe it's like watching milk. I should just let it do its stuff whatever that may be and do something else.

What about that abandoned bezel whose color I didn't like for the Septarian? I could make something for it from polymer clay. I measured the bezel, mixed some blue and black. A deep water scene with seaweed in green and white. Little silver fish. This turned out to be much more fun than watching the can.
From time to time I went over to the stove to check on the alien. It tried to eat another wooden stick, but apart from that it stayed unchanged. Ugly words floated around in my head.

Where the octopus came from, I don't know. He happened, like many of my designs happen, but once he was in my head, I immensely enjoyed the process of wrapping seaweed round his tentacles and the other way round.
The eyes were last. I wondered if I should give him a cutesy look, but suddenly these slightly evil eyes were staring at me. I tell you what, I don't say that often, but I love him just the way he is and I think I'll keep him for myself.

As for the resin? After wasting energy for about an hour I gave up on it. For now, that is. I won't let a transparent alien beat me, no sir!


Romantic Sunday

No, it's not that I'm in a romantic mood, but I felt like making polymer clay roses again.
Probably Mabel was a Mucha lady again today.
One of them (rose, not lady) turned out much larger than I had planned at first, you know how it goes sometimes.

At first I thought about making a pendant out of it, but after I had crocheted the setting, I felt it might make a fun ring.
The wire goes through the rose bead, so that it doesn't move, and it's a very comfortable ring.
Yes, I think I am quite happy with this one! Not all my experiments work so well at the first attempt!

Which reminds me that I need to hurry to get the rest on today's list done ... wish me luck!


Mabel's gift

I can hear you sigh now - ANOTHER muse post? "Lady, you are getting boring!"

Drop the overripe tomatoes, people, and calm down! Don't worry, it's about my latest piece and I'll make it short because I feel the need to search the kitchen for some cookies and chai.

The start - a leftover piece of 12 gauge silver plated copper wire.
Next step - hands that can't keep still while a movie is on. Bending back and forth.
Step 3 - Hey, look! That's like a drop! Maybe if I make bead soup from different blues and clear and just a few brownish ones to pep it up (the only soup I'm better at making is pumpkin and potato soup) and put them on that dark blue wire and then ...

Silence with the odd mumbling thrown in.

Less silence, slight cussing. On many stitches I need to go through with my smallest hook to make them wide enough for the larger hooks.

Yawning. Ok, this is taking longer than I thought, I'll continue tomorrow.

Silence. Getting into the routine. Small hook, big hook, small hook, big hook.

Done! Here you go. Mabel's gift, in my Zibbet shop now :-)

And was that soooo bad now? ;-)


Muse sharing

You can share a pizza, cookies, a car, a house - but how about muse sharing?

Yesterday I talked about my own muse. I won't need a poll anymore. The name Mabel was dropped and a Mabel she is now. I don't care if she agrees. Often enough she doesn't care if I agree about her running off and leaving me in a dry spell.

But what kind of muse is she? Is she just good for jewelry making? And an idea for the blog? Or is she the spark of fantasy in my head that leads me to be creative in any field?
Is she to blame if one of my rare cakes doesn't live up to expectations although she made it sound so easy? Is she one providing me with grimaces and bad puns (hopefully good ones, too, from time to time)?
I know she can knit, she can crochet, but only likes to do it with wire, she has fun with beads, if she's in a good mood she can make people laugh, but she can also be very creative at being snarky.
She writes (mostly for herself) and she loves to doodle.

If I share her, could she be the muse just for people who resemble me in style and characteristics, or could she change for them?
I wish she could.

You two people whom I wrote this post for (and to one of them, I know I'm late with the delivery because of a phone call, sorry), could have a piece of my muse anytime ;-)


On a ring trip

From time to time I go through my stash of beads together with my muse. She points out beads that I had forgotten or some that I don't have many left of. Sometimes she will even find a half-forgotten WIP.
Perfect projects for those occasions are rings. They are fun to make because you can always choose a new combination of wire and beads.

This is what she came up with this weekend.
First of all she found a WIP I had made quite a while ago, then "lost" underneath something else. I hadn't decided yet if I wanted it to be a pendant, a collier or a ring. My first attempt at a ring had failed on a day when I was very impatient, so off into the box it went.
What I had so far, was a crocheted dome of sterling silver wire with faceted little moonstones. Too pretty to hang out in a WIP box with their blue flashes and sparkle.
I got stubborn and finally did it. One down, only one million to go. Yesss!

Then my muse (I wonder if she needs a name, time for another poll? Let me know what you think!) gave me some lovely frosted 4 mm amethyst beads that had been left after making the Winter Berries necklace.
Perfect for this ring in fine silver wire, don't you think?

I have only tried to spool knit brass wire once. It was not a success because it doesn't bend the way copper does. So I still had this ugly necklace lying around. It's always hard for me to throw something away, but there was no chance I could have saved it. Snip, snip, snip - welcome back, little jasper cubes.
I find they look much better on this ring (what you can't see in this picture that on this ring the wire is crocheted in a different direction than the others, I can be soooo innovative at times :-P).

When I wanted to take the pictures to list the rings, I found ... or rather, I didn't find (it was a very negative feeling) no charged batteries. Ten batteries and all of them dead? That delayed the listing a little, but I hope they'll be in one of my shops soon. The rings, not the batteries ;-)


Call me Dr. Frankenstein!

But please pronounce it Fronkensteen. Yes, I am a fan of "Young Frankenstein". I might even be able to mess my hair up like Gene Wilder's in the movie, but I doubt I could do the wild look.

I'll introduce you to Lizzy now. Lizzy's name came out of nowhere and so did she. Would you believe she started out as a bird cage that had the wrong size? I got asked if I could make a bird cage with a bird inside (which actually rekindled my polymer clay "career" that had got stuck in its baby shoes, but that's a different story). My first attempt was too slim, so I put it away. As with many of my unfinished projects, though (gee, sounds like I have thousands of them lying around while there are only like ... *mumble mumble*), I looked at it again and again. I rarely throw away a messed up piece because I like how failure can be an inspiration for something else.

The more I looked at this "non-cage", the more it looked like a skirt to me. One too many Georgette Heyer books maybe? (Note: Re-read your Heyers once more.) And finally I took a heart and added a little bodice and puff sleeves. Not that bad, but what now? Put it on a wire hanger? Make a pendant out of it? I thought of putting a body in there, but I had no idea how to do it. Polymer clay, yes. But how? How?

The dress spent quite a while on my desk until I finally decided to make a head. I found I am not a great head maker. A little piggy nose, fat eyebrows (I still use to underestimate how big a speck of clay can become if you flatten it, but I'm working on it), and huge hair, but at least tied in a knot. As it had only been my third attempt at a head, I still felt it was ok (don't ask about the two heads still lying around here, I am afraid I won't be able to put them to good use! ;-)
More time went by. Then, on another inspection of the dress, I saw the long wire ends still sticking out of the sleeves.

That's when my "Fronkensteen" genes started to move. Polymer clay around the wire, a neck, ah, you should have heard my mad laughter. Unfortunately there was no lightning and thunder. It would have been nice and fitting.
Little did I know how difficult the process would prove to be. For a trained polymer clay artist it wouldn't have been a problem, I'm sure, but for me - oh my, I can't count how often the wire went bouncing back just when I thought the clay looked good now. I even tried to make a pompadour to keep her hands together, but I didn't like the look of it. To make a neck for the head was easier, but it turned out to be a little fat.
Into the oven she went (had to be the oven, no lightning, you remember?) and out of the oven she came like this.

The wire color was shining through the clay and the poor girl had the "uneven elbow disease". I thought some lace for longer sleeves and some jewelry for the neckline would be a good idea, hm, and something to fill up the skirt. More lace maybe?
When I showed Lizzy - told you the name came out of nowhere - to my online friends, I got a few more suggestions ... and was told whom she reminded them of. Very funny indeed. Lizzy will have to spend lots of time in therapy! And I almost cried from laughing so hard.

Today was the big accessory day. First I made a wire crochet stole for Lizzy. Although I used the smallest hook possible with this wire, it got - hm, let's call it luxurious. It wasn't easy to bend, but I think it's ok even if it hides the bodice and the sleeves.

Then Lizzy got a simple little necklace with a tiny freshwater seed pearl that doesn't look so tiny on her as she is only 2 inches tall herself.

And last of all I filled up the skirt. If you look very closely at the two pictures above, you can see the red wire peeking through. In daylight you can see it better. Now that she is not that lightweight anymore, she also stands better.

There you go. That is Lizzy. I don't know yet if she will get any siblings, but I promise to keep you up-to-date on the subject.

Yours sincerely,
Dr. Fronkensteen ;-)


April, April, does what it wants

In German the sentence rhymes by the way.
We used it often when we were children and sitting here feeling chilly which doesn't happen often it came to my mind.

We have all been talking a lot about the weather. The long winter still not over in some places, spring, catastrophes, spring, April weather, spring - yes, we all long for it. And can I please have a consistent one?

April doesn't think so. Yesterday we had rain and the neighbor's kitty had to hide underneath my car (just when I wanted to drive off, of course, when else?). Today we have grey sky and no rain, but it's cold.

Thomas Tusser, an English farmer and writer (what a nice combination) in the 16th century said "Sweet April showers do spring May flowers".
And April showers were one of the ideas for the Polymer Clay Smooshers Guild that I am a member of.
Here is my interpretation. Take your own little rain cloud with you. It's not as wet as the ones above ... A polymer clay cloud focal hanging on four strands of sterling silver chain with three small dangling raindrops.
I like it.


Nothing new, but ...

sometimes I just wonder. I'm talking about Google Analytics and the funniest keywords that led to my Etsy shop the last weeks. Well, not the keywords in themselves are funny, but I have no idea how they are connected to my Etsy!

This list is in order of "What the ... ??" with the most incredible being last (don't want to spoil the surprise!) ;-)

1. blue enamel finish ring - I don't have anything with enamel in my line, but blue and ring makes sense for my shop

2. breastfeeding pendant - I didn't even know what that was! There are enough pendants in my shop, though

3. forging a fibula - sounds interesting, have never done it, but at least it's remotely connected with my line of business

4. dog collar paracord - think that is a market niche for me, crocheting dog collars from paracords? At the moment nothing like it can be found among my pieces

5. burro creek purple metaphysical - that confused me a bit at first until I found out about purple Burro Creek jasper, but sorry pals, not for offer here and certainly not metaphysical

6. Christmas bakery labels - in March?? Doesn't matter, this isn't something I have, not in November, not in March

7. high heel rubber stamps - ??????

8. hanging glass globe terrarium - maybe if it's so small you can use it as a pendant. Nah, not really

9. rubber ducky soaps - I don't even use soapstone to carve rubber duckies, much less soaps!

10. sewing pattern for cell phone - I said it before, I can't sew if my life depended on it

11. twilight doll ooak - never, never, never, never, NEVER!!!!

12. turquoise maxi dress - no comment.

13. vintage typewriter keys - I don't even own a typewriter although I love typewriter sounds for my computer keyboard, but the last one I had used to kill my Firefox. Oops, digressing, sorry.

And the one that surprised me most ... tadaaaa!

14. etsy gave up - huh? On me?? I hope not!!!

Imagine all the people that looked for these keywords and then what they got - was me and my shop. Must have been some serious disappointment. I'm sorry.


Welcome to "The Little Gardener's Show"

Too late to back out now, the door is locked.
This is not a garden show, you know I don't anything about flowers!
Still my topic today are flowers, but not the kind that withers when I come close. I found the cure. Give me flowers that are tough, that can stand up to me and that don't need water!!

One of them you know already from an earlier post. It had been lying around there and I felt sorry for it, so I decided to plant it. I didn't want to use something store-bought, though.
Then my looks fell on the brown polymer clay that I had intended to use for a tree. The design hadn't worked out the way I wanted it to, but .... hmm .... with a little red in it .... organic look .... rough edges .... oh yes, and a tiny snail on there!
When the bowl had left the oven and was cooling down I started thinking about the "soil". Sand? Nah. I would have to glue it down, so the plant wouldn't fall. Glued sand? I don't think so. Rocks? The deco rocks that I like to use as background props for my pictures? I still had enough of it, so I started glueing the flower into the bowl with the rocks (after checking out if my glue was ok for polymer clay).
When I had about half of it done, I glued myself to the rocks. It was bound to happen. Glue doesn't like me. When trying to get my hand off the rocks, I pulled the whole bowl with me and rocks started flying into all directions. Have you seen that they are black with silver?
I stepped on them. With my white socks I stepped on black, silver and glue. Sometimes you have to sacrifice things, I guess. I sacrificed my socks for this project. They were not the youngest anyway, the heel started to get a little threadbare, and I didn't feel like picking off all that stuff before throwing them into the washer.

I needed two sessions to glue everything so that nothing would fall out.
Here is the result.

The other flowers are totally different. They are roses from polymer clay, much smaller, too. I know there are many rose earrings out there, so I wanted to give the design a little twist.

I love to combine wire crochet and smooshing, in my opinion that can compliment each other very well in a design.
And my head is full of ideas! Stay tuned!


Can you say procrastination?

Thursday evening started my vacation time.
I had high hopes to cross things off my to-do list. Since then I tell myself hope dies last.
It's not that I didn't do anything, but none of it had to do with "THE LIST". Have you ever seen a piece of paper glaring?
Actually it's not really a to-do list. It always starts out as one, but then random notes get scattered on it. It doesn't matter, can you see there are not many points crossed off? And just by looking at it, I find more things to add.

I need a serious kick in the butt, but there was none available here at the moment. The cats looked me, looked at each other, said "no comprende" and went back to napping.
But Google is my friend, right? Google search - "kick butt". Aaah yes.

Kick Butt Ideas - a site for kick-butt business ideas. Adding reading to my list? After I pathetically flunked the one book a week challenge? I don't think so.

Kick Butt Coffee - I went through the five fundamentals of specialty coffee and although that was interesting, I doubt it'll help me much as I hardly ever drink coffee.

Kick Butt Productions - a company specializing in inspiring people. Too far away. Ehm, smart move, girl. If you put in English keywords, you might not get results from Germany.

See how much my brain has already deteriorated? I gave up on Google.
Instead I got myself a big cup of chai (the stains on the list are from the last cup I had) and decided to concentrate on the word at the end - organisation!


A yoghurt, a kitty and I

First of all I'd like to apologize for the quality of the pictures. It's not easy taking a picture with an arm extended trying to get a moving cat into focus without being able to look at the display or use both hands.

The following didn't happen today, but it happens everytime I dare to eat yoghurt.

Suddenly a furry girl with large round eyes sits next to me and hypnotizes me. Esme loves yoghurt.
You'll see.

Gee, Mom, that is good. That's organic yoghurt, ain't it?

Mmmmmmm, thanks for leaving so much for me!

I just wish it was easier to get in there with my tongue!

Don't pull away, there is a bit left here at the rim.

It does look empty now, what a shame!

What do you mean, clean my face off?

Oh, all right. Calm down!

P.S. I wish I had caught the cross-eyed look yet that she usually gets when she really concentrates on getting in there. I promise as soon as I have a picture of that, I'll let you know. It's worth it, she is adorable when looking like it.