Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Work is good.

Just very quickly to let you all know that work is good!
Scary in a way as you have to make very few mistakes, which is sort of normal for just about every job, though there, I have to enter some long strings of numbers, with some letters, and sometimes I feel like the numbers are playing tricks on me!
Looks like there's plenty to do and that I will be able to reach my 15 hours no problem, at least for a few week, so if I can pass the first month's probation I should be a very happy chickie!!!
Ok. that's all, short and sweet... for today.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Swap Etiquette and Guidelines

This information used to be on the StampHappy website, since I edited/composed most of these with Sharon Ready, I thought I should put them here, as it is a great reference for those who are new at swapping or at hosting swaps.

Swap Etiquette and Guidelines

Listed below:

How do swaps work?

If you are the Participant
How to register for a swap
Sending in your cards

If you are the Hostess
Proposing a swap
The swap is now official
The cards start arriving
Sorting the swap cards

International Swaps
International Reply Coupons (IRC)


How Do Swaps Work?

There are two important factors in a swap: the Participant and the Hostess.

The participant joins their chosen swap and makes their cards according to the theme. Once the cards are finished, they then send them to the hostess for sorting.

The hostess organises the swap. She chooses the theme, and participants all send their cards to her. Once all the cards are received, she sorts them and sends each participant a different set of items to the ones they sent.

This is the general idea of swapping - so participants (and the hostess!) get different ideas for their creativity from like-minded stampers.

If you are the Participant

How to register for a swap.

To participate in a swap, select a swap theme that appeals to you. Contact the hostess and ask for your name to be added to the list of players.

Make a note of the hostess' name, email address, and the due date of the swap.

Let's assume you have joined a Christmas Card Swap, and the hostess requires 6 for 5. This means that the host requires you to send in 6 cards and in return you will get back 5 different Christmas cards that were created by the other participants in the swap.

What happens to the 6th card you ask? Well that one is for the hostess so that they can have a sample of each card that was sent in.


Sending in your cards.

You should attach the following information to the back your card:

Name of the swap
Date of swap
Name of the Hostess
Your Name
Your email address
Stamp credits
Technique used (optional)

Include a stamped self-addressed envelope so your items can be mailed back to you. Usually the same amount of postage it costs you is sufficient. You might want to add one stamp if your items might be lighter than the average items for the swap. The hostess will return extra postage to you.

(Please see this section if you participate in a swap that is not held in your country!)

Package your cards so they won't get folded, or wet. It is your responsibility to supply the hostess with adequate return packaging. It is the hostess' responsibility to use what you provided.

Make sure your cards reach the destination on time, hostesses are not required to wait for swap cards that arrive after the deadline and can return them to you using your return envelope.

Notify the swap hostess if you cannot make the deadline, as soon as practical.

All items received in swaps MUST be acknowledged to each person you have received an item from. Messages should not be sent to the StampHappy list unless you have scanned and uploaded your items and are sharing a link to view the items.


If you are the Hostess

After you have participated in a few swaps you are bound to feel like hosting a swap of your own. It is recommended that you participate in one or two swaps before you host one of your own.


Proposing a swap.

Think of a theme that you think people would enjoy doing. For this example we will pick: Tea and Coffee.

Send an email to StampHappy (stamphappy@yahoogroups.com) to notify everyone that you are proposing to host a swap, and to invite players to join.

In your email make sure you mention the following information (text in pink is a sample of the type of information required):

In the SUBJECT line make sure you write:
Swap proposal: Tea or Coffee Swap

Inside the email:

Your full name: Ima Stamper
Your email address: istamper@craft.com.au
Swap Name/Theme: Tea or Coffee
Type of swap: Card or Bookmark
Due Date: 20 July 1998
No. of Items to be sent: 6 for 5

Description of what you should make: Must stamp an image that is associated with Tea or Coffee such as a teapot, cup and saucer, coffee beans, tea bag etc.

Normally the due date of your swap will be 4 to 6 weeks, or more, from the time you propose it.

If after two or three weeks you do not have at least 6 participants, you should remove the swap from the list and notify anyone who has registered that the swap is being cancelled due to lack of participants. Sometimes there are too many swaps going on, you can try proposing it again in a few month's time.

You do need to have at least five participants to ensure you will have enough cards to swap around. You can also have four players and become a player yourself and make a full set of cards.


The swap is now official.

When you have enough players to make the swap official, you can email the list again and mention that the swap is now official. Each group has their own method for keeping track of swaps, if you are unsure what else to do, you can contact the group's owner or one of the moderators.

Keep a note of all of the participants' email addresses. You can do so by creating a special Swap address book in your email program, or taking notes in a note book by hand, or in a text file on your computer.


The cards start arriving.

The swap is official, you will start receiving cards from the participants.

When you receive the cards from the players:

Check the cards:

Adequate number of items
Return envelope
Sufficient postage
Make sure you keep the packaging supplied and any extra stamps the player might have sent in a safe place.
Make sure they have submitted the required information and that it is on every card for the swap.
Make sure they have included their email address on their items - if not the hostess should provide this with the item.

Let them know personally (privately) that you received their cards.
Place the cards in a safe place where pets, and children, cannot get to them.

Notify participants if you are delaying the closing date for any reason.

A week before the due date of the swap put out another email to the players to remind the "stragglers" that they have one week to go. If you find that the due date comes by and there are still participants who have not sent their cards in, then email them to find out if they have posted them or not. If they have not already posted the cards it is up to you to decide whether you are willing to wait or not. Don't feel bad if you decide you don't want to delay the swap. Just notify those participants that the swap has been closed and you cannot wait for their cards.

Once the swap is over be prompt with returning the items to the participants. This should be done within two weeks.

So now you have all the cards that are going to be "swapped". This is the fun part. You need to make sure that the card sent in by a participant is not sent back to them by accident - they will not be impressed to see their card again no matter how lovely it is!


Sorting the Swap Cards.

There are a few methods of swapping cards, below is a simple one.

Lay each stack of cards next to each other making sure that cards that are too similar in design are not next to each other. This will ensure everyone gets a good variety of images when they are swapped.

It is important to not swap advance players with advance players and beginner players with beginner players, and that everyone gets a selection so that beginners can learn from experienced stampers and experienced stampers can be reminded of simpler techniques.

Place all the cards on top of their return envelope with all furnished return packaging such as zip lock bags, cardboard to prevent folding, etc. It's a good idea to have some cellophane envelopes, or extra zip lock bags when it's the wet season. Nothing worse than holding a great swap and learn the cards arrived to destination completely soaked.

Place all the participant's cards side by side on a large table. Some hostesses have been known to use their lounge room floor for particularly large swaps.

When all the cards are placed on the table, take a quick look to make sure that not all the purple ones are together, not all the ones using the similar stamps are together, and make sure that all the intricate ones and the simpler ones are intermixed to ensure everyone gets a good sample of cards.

So let's say the cards are on the table and we have


Take the return envy for A and place a card from B, C, D, E and F in the envelope, with the packaging as well (don't put the cards in the plastic bags yet but make sure all the bits remain together).

Put the envelope aside, unsealed (a box where the envelopes can stand upright is a good safe way of doing this).

Take the envelope from B and put a card from C, D, E, F, G in it and put it aside.

Repeat this process until you get to I's envelope in which you will put a card from J, K, L, M and A; J gets K, L, M, A, and B, and so on until every envelope has been filled.

When the envelopes are all filled, take your check list and look at the contents of all the envelopes, write down who's cards are going in A's envy, and make sure you repackage the cards in the bag, with protective card if it was supplied, etc. If there's no such thing provided, it's always worth the extra effort to provide a plastic bag. This is also a good time to place in a thank you card if you made one. Seal the envelope, repeat for the rest of the players, and you're all done.


International Swaps

Sometimes you will want to participate in a swap that is not in your country, or you will want to hold a swap and some participants will be from another country than the one where you reside.

The most important thing to remember is that Australian stamps cannot be used to send mail FROM New Zealand, or any other country, and the reverse is also true. Stamps from another country are, generally, of no use to hostesses. Keep that in mind when you participate in a swap held by someone in another country, or if you host a swap where some participants might not be in your country.

In some instances hostesses will accept the same amount of stamps as it cost you to mail your swap to them, in stamps of your own country. Some hostesses like to do this as they plan on participating in swaps held by someone in your country and want to send the appropriate stamps for their return swaps. But not all hostesses like to do this. So it is preferable to ask the hostess what she would like, before you send your cards to her.

International Reply Coupons (IRCs)

International Reply Coupons (IRCs) provide someone in another country with a prepaid way to return items to you when you are responsible for paying for postage. IRCs are exchanged for postage stamps at a post office. IRCs will be exchanged in all countries which are members of the UPU (Universal Postal Union). Each IRC is equivalent in value to the minimum postage rate for an unregistered airmail letter. The purchase price of an IRC is usually more than the price of the stamp it replaces.

Swap envelopes, where you send 6 or more cards may require 2, even 3, IRCs to be sent back to you. Make sure you inquire with the Hostess and at the post office so that you send the appropriate number.

What I've been up to

Well, time flies, we had a rough July, with one of the girls a bit sick through the first weeks and the holidays, and then they both had a cold, finally they are both back at school, and seemingly happy.

I have managed to finally get my Job Search Training as mandated by Centrelink (thank you mr howard. NOT!) for all parents whose kids are 8 by July 2007... I actually managed to enjoy it (my JST trainer was a lovely woman).
The first job I applied for sounded very interesting, making use of my computer (Word, Excel) skills and my long ago acquired maths and stats skills (and I mean long ago, when I was in University, in the 80s!).
Anyway, went to the interview on the 23rd August, and felt really good when I left, you know, when you think you couldn't have done it better except if you stayed up all night studying!!
I was in there quite a long time, we talked about my qualifications and what the job entails, and then he put me to the test, and I felt good about what I'd done, even if there are a few things I didn't know, or I was rusty with...

I walked back to the school that day, it's a 20 minute walk downhill (also a 16 minute walk to our house, I suspect)... It's a 10 minute walk from the bus which comes by our house (so about 15-30 minutes to get to work depending when the bus comes) and there's another bus which services this area which goes right by our school, so I can hop on and go to work after I drop off the girls, and back on to pick them up at the end of the day. Not to mention that DH might be able to drop me off some mornings or pick me up too!

Friday, (31 August) when we came back from Rolloways, there was an email waiting for me with a letter of offer. I start next week! I'm pretty excited. First application, first interview, and I nail the job! and it's an interesting one!! Yay!!!

They are quite flexible with kids being sick (I made it really clear that I was a mother FIRST, and that since we have no support network/extended family, that when the kids are sick, I stay home with them, unless, of course, DH has a day off or no jobs to do that day, which can happen). It's only 8 hours per week at the moment but I'm hoping I can increase my hours at some point to 15 hours to keep Centrelink happy. In the mean time I'm looking for a 7h/week job ;) (btw, if you know anyone who needs data entry in Word, Excel, or such programs, or typing, or simple web design... that could be fun! Preferably something I can do from home.)

What else, oh, right, since it's a "back of the house" type of job, I can wear what I want pretty much, which is great as with my feet hurting, I have to wear my Crocs, and they don't look great with stockings and business skirts! But they have helped my feet tremendously.

Yeah, so anyway, the job... it's basically preparing soil samples, from future mine sites or mines I suspect, for analysis by laboratories, so it involves some Excel work, some Word knowledge and some labelling, and putting dirt in little jars! I'm going to have fun.

Now onto my feet, well, I finally had time (took the time?) to get my feet Xray-ed and ultrasound-ed and I have heel spurs, probably caused by plantar fasciitis ... so now my first course of action will be cortisone as it's the cheapest quickest solution, though my sister suggested a REIKI treatment, so I might do that first, I don't like the idea of needles in my heels, but if the cortisone and/or REIKI don't work I will look into therapies such as acupuncture (my doc says it might work but it can't be guaranteed to work, and at $60 per treatment, I might need 4 or more... so I think the cheap solution first is the way to go), if acunpucture doesn't work, then we might have to look into getting them ultrasound-blasted (something like that, maybe there's some laser therapy involved, I hvaen't looked into it really yet but I have heard of someone who did that and it worked a charm, of course, it's the most expensive solution), or I could learn to walk on my hands :) I wanted to scan my Xray as it's a nice pair of spurs but it didn't work... probably better that way, it's a bit freakish! :)

So, life is going to get busy, and until I learn how to juggle, I think this blog will take a back seat, as will my craft, for a while anyway! If I make anything, it will be on this page at the Krafty Lady website.

This is a piece which is not on the KL Website:

I will have a piece in an issue of Altered Arts in 2008, I'm very excited about it. It makes use of Krafty Lady moulds and Sculpey Ultralight. I'll leave it at that for now!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

I've been tagged to do 7 random things about me

Natalie tagged me so I will do this ...
here's 7 Random Things About Me (that you probably wish you hadn't asked!) - I'm trying to go with things you wouldn't necessarily know.

1) i almost always delete chain letters and the like, i might return them to you if they are that type of letters, but rare are the ones i forward (yes, this is one of those exceptions where I will answer!)
2) i cry when i watch any sort of awards or "this is your life" type shows
3) i had my hair in every colour from white bleached to bright orange and every shade of brown/red in between (haven't used dye in over a year, i look too young when i don't have grey hairs!)
4) i do speak French fluently (some people still don't know that!)
5) i suffer from plantar fasciitis (yes, it makes me suffer!) and it makes me cranky too :)
6) i had a nose ring but i took it out when i gave birth (they were prepping me for a C-section which never happened) and i never put it back. I wish I had put it back as the hole is now closed.
7) i had a navel ring too, but it's a big mistake if you don't have a washboard stomach - only rings I have now are in my ears and on my fingers (in case you wondered!)

If you want to considered yourself tagged, please do, and LMK so I can link to you (whether I know you or not!)

I almost left without artwork:

this was done with scrap clay, and by carving out the bits I didn't want, from a larger mould (AM134)

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

oh noooo!!!

Well, things are a bit better than yesterday! Though, I finally get a moment to bake some things I made about two weeks ago (polymer clay) and have not yet been able to find the time to bake them, and .... well, I forgot to put my thermometer's alarm ON, so the temperature rose, and rose, until my daughter comes and says "mummy, the oven is going to 135, 136 and keeps going up" well, by the time I get there, about 15.7 seconds later, there's smoke coming out of the oven!!! and, well, my items have burned! *sigh*
It's ok though, a bit of a bummer as I waited SO long and now, blerch! But I'll be able to recreate them i think, though one of my blends was quite nice, and well, probably I won't be able to redo that one, but it has to happen once in a while. I guess....

Some of you who aren't on the local stamping list will get a giggle from this story:
Many of you know that we have been car-free since I moved here (August 1998). I got my license (in Canada) when I turned 16, been driving ever since, well until 1998. In the past months, things have changed, and we now have wheels... but I haven't driven in 9 years, and never driven on the WRONG side of the road before (well, once, but that's a story I prefer not remembering, it was dark, in some NDG little winding road, and I didn't know it was a One Way street, but no harm done, there was no one else around!!!), I was quite relieved, a while back, when I realised that not everything was completely reversed, that the clutch-brake-gas pedals were in the same position!!! *phew*!!!
Anyway, a couple weeks ago I had my first "getting-back-into-driving lesson"!!
other than slamming my right hand in the door a few times trying to change gears, which are on the left now, and constantly turning on the wipers instead of signalling which way I was turning (again, reversed), it went pretty well... I've had another lesson since, it's been hard to find time these days. But it's going pretty well, I also think having the hand break on the left makes me forget about it, you know, nothing to do with the right hand... oops! hehehe!!!

anyway, stay tuned....

that same weekend I had another first. I sold my first item on Etsy! Sold it on 31 May, but then it was the weekend, then it was Foundation day, then on Tuesday I was home bound with "girls with flus" so on Wednesday the parcel left... but I've yet to hear if it arrived, and I'm biting my nails... I'm being patient, I know mail is slow, and the buyer hasn't contacted me yet but yikes, it's nerve wracking!!! Every day I check to see if they left feedback, I'm neurotic! :)

hmmm, don't have any artwork to post, really... haven't done much, ah, heck. I'll go scan the ATC I finished yesterday with a background which Ann G put in the "free to a good home" bin at our stamping club. I'll go do that NOW! :)

well, that is all I have for now :)
(oh yes, my soup yesterday was really nice!!! sweet potato soup! yum!)

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


One day I'm going to just pay for web space! I'm so upset! I was at Geocities, then they stopped allowing FTP access (which makes it really easy to update a site) then I had problems with Topcities, I can't upload there anymore for some reason though my site is still active, so I looked and found a great free, and ad-free, place, but this morning, while looking for something, I stumbled upon my own site, and it's one of those really crappy search pages now. I've emailed Vivid Host (cos I'm Livid! I'm a poet!)... and asked them what happened! I didn't even get an email, and their service when I joined was so good. I'm loathe to move my old website to a blog because, well, it would require work and I don't have the time!

Well, while I'm whinging... We have all been sick, exept for DH, almost got better and got sick again! Not fun! The girls are missing (IMO) too much school, I'm missing out on my "work for the dole"... *sigh* I do enjoy the work I'm doing at the moment...

Which brings me to the latest phase for Work for the Dole, I'm meeting with a "Job Network Agency" on Friday (that all sounds way too George Orwell 1984 to me!) ... I hope I can continue the work I've been doing through Starworks because I'm actually quite enjoying THAT! When I can go that is...

I love how the gov't thinks it's ok, we can all work without problems, kids don't get sick, they can all go to daycare, and doesn't matter if transport is an issue! ?!?!? well, I'm trying to be optimistic and I'll wait and see. The option of going back to school may be open to me, apparently 100 more hours and I'll have enough to get some "study credit"... all this terminology and "user friendly" words... *sigh* I wish they'd leave us mums along and get on the backs of the real dole bludgers! Those who don't already have a pretty full-on/full time job... parenting!!!

Do you like my Buddha? You can see the whole bracelet at Krafty Lady... hmm, it was part of a challenge, so let me give you THE RIGHT PAGE :) Its catalogue number is AM181, so it is about midway on that page...

I wish I could leave you on a positive note, I'm too cold to be happy! hehehe!!! But I'm going to leave you with my moon tie clip.

I loved that blend, but I've run out, it's the same I used for all the 7 Buddhas in the Buddha bracelet, funny how things turn out depending how you manipulate them.

I'm going to go make some soup now I think!!!

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Monday, May 28, 2007

The beads from the Spiral Bead Swap

Here they are, the fabulous beads I received in the Spiral Bead Swap! Carolyn and Ada's tags were still on so I didn't re-write their names. I wore Charlotte's necklace I made the bail with wire, and I left it on the necklace to scan.
I was really happy with my returns!
I have scanned the charms but yeah, will redo that one as not all the charms were actually on the chain. I need to make jump rings, and it's just one of those little things I haven't gotten around to.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Swap Items

These are charms I made for Julie Hetherington's charm swap.

The "beads" below were for a bead swap.

I have my return beads all in one place (just about, I wore a couple already) and I will try to find my charms too and scan them, but the charms are on Julie's blog, so you can look there (and look at her beauties too!)

That's all I have time for at the moment, oh, and just a tin I made, to finish off the post. I have to say I'm really pleased with how it came out. I used some acrylic paint, but something was missing on the tin to match the embellishment (which is made of polymer clay and highlighted with Pearl Ex then edged with a Krylon Leafing pen) so I put some Pearl Ex in some Gum Arabic, and painted that over the acrylic paint. Perfect (to me). Just what I needed. :)

Friday, May 18, 2007

The importance of good lighting!

I use a blob of blu-tak to clean my Krafty Lady moulds before I use them, it removes any dried clay or dust, or "other" which might be in the moulds. I find often some of the air dry clay leaves some residue.

I wanted to make a mix, after a bit of playing (first time in a long time) with gold and silver, it yields a nice colour, so I mix my clay, but find it has a strange consistency, and though it's gold and I know all about Mica shifts, I can't really tell why it's turning whitish and why it feels so funny tonight. My daylight lamp is not turned on as I have only one extra plug, which was being used by my pasta machine, but the colour seems wrong -- I mutter to myself that I should keep better notes on mixes I like... I pull on the clay and it doesn't behave like it normally does, or so I think. I'm a bit tired, I have a cold, and things don't always make sense when you have a cold...

I look around my desk for inspiration as to what to cast, what to make with that weird blob, and think it might look better once baked... though it looks darn strange... and while my eyes were scanning the contents of my desk (which features some gorgeous spiral beads received in a swap earlier today, more on that soon!) I see my blob of silver clay! How can that be, that's the blob I used to mix with gold??? but... where's my Blue Tak blob??? THEN A BULB LIGHT UP!

No wonder it was all looking weird! I had mixed my gold clay with my blu-tak!!!

Thought I'd share as I think it's a pretty funny story!!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Post it notebook with stamped embellishment

This is a notebook I made in 2004 for my sister. I stamped on an Opals tile (that is a piece of straw board or matt board with a few layers of Currawong Opals on it).
Another way rubber stamps can be used.

(Natalie has a nice stamped art one on her blog).

Ok, that's all for today... I'm off to sand some more polymer clay castings, and file my nails at the same time!! *yikes*

Friday, April 13, 2007

Post It Note Booklet

I originally posted this in my Stampamajiggies blog. But I can't see the point of having two blogs when this one has become such a mish-mash of things around me. So I am moving posts on this blog, to delete the other one. I'm trying to post them by marking them with the date they were originally posted. Fingers Crossed.
This post was originally uploaded on: 13 April 2007
New tutorial written for Krafty Lady.
Post It Note Booklet Tutorial

Now you can make one too!

Hi all!
I've done it, wrote a tutorial for the post it note booklet, of course there's some on the web, but I like to do things my own way :)

You can read all about it here.
I hope you enjoy the tutorial!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Time's got wings again!

I cannot believe it's been two months since I stopped by here!
I have been busy, still making samples for Krafty Lady but I have also had to go back to work, part time, to keep receiving our "family allowance/parent payment" (not even sure of the right name for it) but once your youngest turn 7, or by July this year, we parents, as if we dind't have enough to do, have to go back to work... I am very lucky that I managed to secure a volunteer position (you can "work for the dole" i.e. volunteer and not get paid, or you can get real work, well, for me so far that's what's been going on!) at our school...

The best part of volunteering is that when the littlies have the flu, you don't feel too guilty calling in sick! Plus I'm also working on their website, which I do from home, so when the girls are sick, there'll be more work done on the site. Well, so far I worked two days, and then the girls got a cold, so ... we simply started our Easter Holidays earlier... oh, and did I mention how much fun it is to have the same holidays as the kids? Yay!
I will probably have to get a "real" job eventually, but this suits me just fine for now. I started working around... 14 or so, summer job while going to school, and worked until I had to move here to have our children :) it's been just about 9 years since I last had a job, so it's quite a shock to the system!!!
But all in all, it's just "another phase" of life, isn't it?

Hope you like my little post it note booklet... might be gifts for teachers for this year! Still early, but the next thing we'll know, is that it's going to be December!

Ooh, if you look to the right, I started listing items on Etsy. I've got a few more to find and list, but I want to make sure I HAVE them before I list them, so I do have to find them!!

Friday, February 16, 2007

I can cane!

I originally posted this in my Stampamajiggies blog. But I can't see the point of having two blogs when this one has become such a mish-mash of things around me. So I am moving posts on this blog, to delete the other one. I'm trying to post them by marking them with the date they were originally posted. Fingers Crossed.
This post was originally uploaded on: 16 February 07
Well, I saw this fabulous idea for a cane on Parole de Pâte and I wanted to give it a go. A neat cane... though I didn't have the same colours, but that wasn't going to stop me. Took what I had, made a semi-skinner blend (i.e. a skinner blend not completely blended) and went with it, oh, and threw some Metallic Gold Leafs in there (i.e. gold in colour, but not real gold) for good measure, and proceeded with the instructions. It was my ...hmmm... third cane? I have tried to cane before, this was the first time I succeeded somewhat better than the other times... so I played!!! I like to think of it as my first cane, as it's the first one that didn't turn out in a muddy mess... though, my jelly roll had a bit of a gap in the middle... maybe that's why they put cream in the middle of edible jelly rolls, so there's no gaps!!!

see, you can see the gap... but given the techniquie requires poking then squishing the piece of cane... that gap didn't bother me too much, but there's something I can improve on.

Below are earrings I made. Cute huh? Didn't even use moulds!! Love my KL Moulds, but it's fun to improvise at times and make something "free hand" so to speak. I love those French Hooks with the flat bit on them too, got those from The Bead Co. here in WA! They had interesting findings! and good prices, imo!!

Now, how much should a pair of such earrings go for??

Then I made some beads.... yup!!! the colours are quite nice, the gold clay I used and the Green Pearl (both Sculpey III) have this mica shifting particles and they shimmer, really nice!!!

The first on the left is done by wrapping a slice of the cane (not a slice like you slice bread, a slice from the side... as in the tute) around a chunk of scrap clay. The other two are done by wrapping slices (a la bread slice) of cane around COSC (chunk of scrap clay?)... I warped the cane for the middle bead, into a triangular shape, that worked nicely too. and on the round bead, you might not see it, but there's even bits of reduced cane there too!!! AMAZING! hehehehehe!!!!!

Hmmm, then, I had a bead that didn't work... so... what do I do? I swirl, of course! and two or three coats of varathane later (Flecto) you have this:

Pretty!!! If I may say so myself.

In a future post I will show you other ways in which I've used some of the cane slices, with Krafty Lady Art Moulds©
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Monday, February 12, 2007

Hmmm, polymer now... Mokume à la France

I originally posted this in my Stampamajiggies blog. But I can't see the point of having two blogs when this one has become such a mish-mash of things around me. So I am moving posts on this blog, to delete the other one. I'm trying to post them by marking them with the date they were originally posted. Fingers Crossed.
This post was originally uploaded on: 12 February 07
Hmmm, my last post had NO polymer clay in it, so I owe you one...
This technique is one I whipped up quickly (after a lot of reading and information gathering...). It's based on the Mokume Gane technique. Here I used some gold Sculpey III, some gold mixed with a bit of yellow to make a yellower gold ;) and some blue, looks like a light blue, maybe even Pearl Blue from Sculpey III. I made the polymer thin with the pasta machine, then stacked it, and between a couple of the layers, I put in some faux gold leaf. I cut, stacked, cut, stacked... just like faux wood or the like (see below for links!). Then I used my block and did something similar to what I remembered from the Faux Paua technique on PCC, and some Mokume Gane instructions (I think!)... I poked the clay!! Poke here, poke there, I think I used an old pen or the non-brush end of a paintbrush. Then I squeezed it all back together, cut slices, and moulded them. The first necklace, which is also in my main blog, was done with Krafty Lady AM020, the Fleur de Lis with AM138, the earrings with AM025 andAM254, both the same mould in different sizes. The last one used up the rest of my clay (though I did find just enough at the bottom of my little box and am in the process to make earrings to go with the first necklace!!!) was done with one of the NEW MOULDS: AM320 X3Lge Half Circle.

© France Chevalier © France Chevalier © France Chevalier © France Chevalier

The earrings were brushed with Pearl Ex (Gold) but the rest were "as is".
There you go, one more secret in the open :)
Again, all images and ideas © France Chevalier - if you copy my idea, please give credit where it's due.
If you got inspired I wish you: Happy Creating!!!!!
Links which inspired this technique:
Mokume Gane -Tutorial on mokume gane, which explains the idea behind the technique.
Faux Paua - I used the stacking technique, but didn't fill the holes, just squeezed everything together. Up to step 6, and didn't difform in step 7, just pushed everything back without distorting (well, trying not to, too much!)
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From rubber to polymer

I originally posted this in my Stampamajiggies blog. But I can't see the point of having two blogs when this one has become such a mish-mash of things around me. So I am moving posts on this blog, to delete the other one. I'm trying to post them by marking them with the date they were originally posted. Fingers Crossed.
This post was originally uploaded on: 12 February 07
Hello! It's been a while since I posted anything to this side of the blog, and this past weekend I was thinking that I need to organise myself and write down techniques so I don't forget them... this "tekkie" blog seemed like the right place. It'll stay the Stampamajiggies because I can't find anything clever with polymer clay, and I plan to still use my stamps!!!! :)
so here I go, first off, inspired by Natalie Briney's RAK, which was created with Aqua and Copper paint (and I suspect some black Gesso on the daisy, Krafty Lady AM157)

ATC © Natalie Briney

I started to play with my own Copper and Celadon paints... The atc below was done by painting the background in Celadon, then I clear embossed the Flourish (#2541 Inkastamps.com), then I had fun with copper paint, adding some to the edges using my transdermal applicator (finger, term coined by Kelsey O'Mullane) to get paint around the edges. Before it dried, I wiped it from the clear EP. Oh, and I stamped in the paint with the stamp as well, though you can't really tell, to create a "negative" image so to speak. Clean the stamp right after though.
The little cutie pie is from collages sheets from Inka. I sandwiched her between two microscope slides, which I had to trim to be about 1/4 inch shorter - if that... (what, about 4 mm?)
then wrapped some copper wire around the bottom of the slide. The #5 is a wooden number I found in the kids craft section of a stall at a nearby shopping mall. She looked about 5yo to me!

ATC © by France Chevalier.

This is fun to do with just about any colours. I love playing with acrylic paints! The mask below is Krafty Lady AM166 cast with Delight Air Dry Modelling Clay, and painted with Celadon and Copper paints

© France Chevalier

If you do find this useful, please let me know so I know even one person saw it :) Thanks!!!

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Natalie had left a comment on the other blog:
Natalie B said...
Ohhh france I just found this blog....Love what you've done with this girl image and the paints! Yumm

Sunday, February 25, 2007 11:41:00 AM

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Black and Gold

I've been playing with some black clay and gold leaf! I've seen this technique a few times, and finally yesterday a project I found, and this tech, seemed to be calling out my name.

The project is a blade holder... tissue blades are as dangerous as razor blades :) and LONGER!!! and a pain in the youknowhat to carry around, so Marie-Hélène wrote up a tutorial on Parole de Pate. And I copied her :)

The black Premo I had was really stiff and dry, and having not had much success adding oil to clay to make it softer, in the past, I thought I'd blend it with a bit of Sculpey III... at the moment, my blade holder is a bit flexible, maybe it'll stiffen a bit with time, sometimes clay does?! I think!!

Then of course I had to make it count... so I used some moulds from my Challenge: Krafty Inspiration, hmmm, black and gold, Egypt... the Egyptian Cat, of course!!!

Then, I had to do something else!! When I made the necklace you can see in a previous post, I thought it would have been nice to make earrings to match... so since I had no more of that mix, I couldn't... Now, with my black and gold mix, seemed like the perfect opportunity (not to mention that I made more than what I needed with that gold finish on top!)!!! So may I present, my set:

Before ANYONE says anything about me selling this set, I noticed that the back of the pendant is not finished very smoothly... sooo... I can't really sell it. I guess I'll have to make another one. Also I made it with "non pierced" earrings as I am all out of findings for pierced earrings, so I had to borrow my daughters' "fun" earrings...

Well, I'm tickled pink (hmmm, I'm tickled Black and Gold doesn't sound as nice) with the results... if you want to see more stuff, go have a little stroll at the Krafty Lady website! Yes, I'm still having FUN!!!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

ah! found my old skin!

Well, well...

nice to have this new (previous, really) look, don't know if it'll keep or not, until I find out there's things that just won't work, but I can do without the bells and whistles, it's good to hvae my links back!!! AND THE RIGHT DATE!!! Blogspot people never got back to me about my date issue... (no, not that type of date! I'm happily married, just that I was still in 2006, and while that would be really nice, as I might now find out where December really went, I'd rather evolve with the times, up to a point though, so I'm back in Brown!!! hehehe! and quite happy about it, we'll see if it works for a while!)

Ok, so here's a great pic of my gorgeous friend Barbara with none other than Lukas Rossi and ... yup, Tommy Lee... I told you about Barb and her involvement with Lukas earlier (she basically told him to get his @$$ on that plane and to go to the audition! and paid for his ticket). Barb is VP Creative, at EMI: Canada! And I miss her!!

Barb and some Supernova Rock Stars! What is it with men getting bald/receiding hairlines younger and younger these days? That's a topic for another day... but seriously, think about it.

I am VERY lucky, I got to play with some NEW Krafty Lady Art Moulds© while they were being launched at CHA!

Nikki (the recipient) said "looks like authentic 7th century weaponry to me." I was thrilled because, this theme was a challenge for me.

Celtic Shield

love this one!!! dunno why? It feels "cleopatra-esque"...

and this one... just love it (too!)... it happened by accident, some mix of clay I was making didn't work out the way I wanted it to, so I put a bit more black and just put it in that mould as I was dying to try it :) LOVED the results!!! and apparently a few of my friends too!

I even sold a pair of earrings! Now, that is a FUN feeling!!!


and thanks to all the clayers at AussiePolyClayers for giving me ideas of other colours of clay I could use, and other colours of patina! You lot are generous and talented, and thank you for the encouragement!!! Looks like I'm being pressured (you know who you are!!!) into selling stuff on Etsy. My friend Sulea sells some of her paintings there.

Well, a few other friends keep saying 2007 is going to be "a ripper, mate!" so maybe they know something I don't... I better not miss the boat!!!

NOTE: while I'm happy to share and inspire others, please respect my intellectual property. I know, it sound snobbish, but it's better than saying "Do not plagiarise my work for capital gain. Do not take my ideas and sell/promote them as your own" doesn't it? :-) in short: Play Fair, Play Nice. thankyouverymuch!!

Thursday, January 18, 2007


Some days you see things and you just have to let other people know about it.
Today I came across karooart's polymer clay creations on Flickr, she makes GORGEOUS beads; and Alan's creations on Photobucket, he's got some beautiful canes, and gorgeous butterfly canes at that too, and some little creatures, like tortoises, and seahorses... and some really cool (and scary) snake head letter openers! They look real.

I'm busy finishing my Krafty Lady screen project... so there's no eye candy from me today (everything I've made is on the Krafty Lady site anyway!)

I emailed Blogger about my date problem, I'll keep you posted :) I know it's a bug, I just don't know how to fix it. When it's fixed, I'll add my links back to my friends blogs and other places on the web... :)

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Does anyone know why I'm still stuck in 2006?

Ok, I've tried changing my template, using the same as other people whose date shows 2007/January, I logged out, logged in again. I don't think I have any weird settings, but WHY? oh! WHY? are my archives showing up as 2006?
Do you have any clue??

Julie K couldn't leave a message yesterday but she asked how I'd done the Faux Amber... it's really easy. I got the instructions on Parole de Pâte, it's basically some Pinata inks (brown or yellow), or you could use Adirondack Alcohol inks too, in some translucent clay, and then proceed to bake and then "control burn" (and don't breathe the fumes) until it reached the colour you want. Sort of putting sugar on top of something and heating it to caramelise it. Lots of fun.

I wish I was still in 2006, it would mean an extra three weeks of holidays!!! Oh, right, add some eye candy.... ok :) This is a little necklace I whipped up quickly as Kristine needed a couple samples made with this mould. I also made an ATC. You can see these pieces and more in my Krafty Inspirational Challenge.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Been busy?

A friend commented that my blog hadn't been updated since November! How is that possible? Who is in charge here? Do I need to fire anyone? well, me, probably :) So I come here to blogspot, and notice they are not in Beta anymore and I have to switch my blog (thought I'd done that already), and then I notice my template needs updating (doesn't feature some of the new features I've seen on other blogs) so I start playing around, it says it's saving my old template... but now I can't find it anywhere, I *think* it's somewhere on the 5 x 4 GIG DVD Backups DH did for me recently! Luckily they are somewhat organised, so I might be able to find the last one that worked... That's what I get for being too clever ;) but like another friend said, there's enough dumming down! So I'm proud to be clever and make mistakes :)

Though, I just realised that means I'll have to add my links all over again ... and also that there's a bug in the blog, my current post, made in Jan07, shows up as being Dec06 for some reason. ... ??? weird :)

I've been really quiet lately because I have had my energy sapped by the end of the year frenzy, and also because I have been suffering from Plantar Fasciitis, which is making me a miserable guts :) I've also noticed, now that the pain is so prominent, how long I've been having problems with my legs and feet! Anyway, I'll spare you the details, but I'm doing what I can to get rid of them... I did however get a pair of Crocs Shoes (yes, I know!!! how bloody TRENDY! hehehe!) and they are wonderful... they are very smooshy. Wish I could order an Rx pair from the USA site though, they have a pair made specially for plantar fasciitis... maybe I'll get one of my agents on the case :)

This said, I've been busy again at Krafty Lady, both in updating the galleries and the DT pages, and creating a few things... never a dull moment. Our current project is really cool and I can't wait to unveil everyone's artwork!!

Hmmmm, I guess I should give you a bit of Eye Candy... ???
I've uploaded a Faux Amber piece, at least that's what I was trying to do.
As for my template, well... time will tell... whether or not I succeed. Sorry for being so absent, and thanks if you keep coming hoping I have something to say :)
Ooooh, I uploaded the Industria ATCs from a swap I held on StampGropers/SGATC ... in November :) I quite like Picasa, though I have to figure out how to add the captions on my computer, before uploading ;) always something to learn, never a dull moment...