Monday, March 26, 2012

Scott David Plumlee DVDs - Chain Maille Tutorials

 Scott David Plumlee is an AMAZING chain maille and wire artist.  Lori Anderson has had the pleasure of reviewing several of his books and they've always impressed her not only with how beautiful the designs are, but how clear the directions are.  Many chain maille books often miss showing the "how-to" part.  David doesn't.


So let's talk about the DVDs. Any or all of them can be purchased by clicking on the link below each picture.

This DVD is 71 minutes long and chock full of unique wire designs that you can easily adapt to your own style.  There are seven segments and David goes over not only how to make the designs, but how to use the right gauge and other important tips.

This is a great DVD for the beginner.  Byzantine is VERY versatile.  There are just so many things you can do with it!   He also shows simpler single and double chains, and ups the ante by showing you how to embellish your chains with beads and making your own clasps.  The DVD is 87 minutes -- and it's a GREAT way to learn chain maille for the first time.

This DVD is for those that have a little more experience with chain maille.  There are nine lessons, and David continues his love for embellishing chain with beads, but REALLY cool -- he'll show you how to make your own magnetic clasps! The DVD is 87 minutes long.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Springtime means orchid time at my house

Here in Florida we are blessed with wonderful weather year round, but once springtime arrives, so do the longer days of sunlight. For orchids, that means only one thing. Time to start blooming again.
Of course, Mickey helps LOL!

Here is a picture of some of the beautiful examples of what nature can give us. They are from my garden last year. I have already enjoyed the Dendrobium Nobile this year (the small purple flowers with the dark purple eye on the lower right in this pic) and can not wait for the others to add their beauty.
As with all avid polymer clay lovers, this all means one more thing to attempt. Quite a while ago, I had learned from a tutorial by Penni Jo Couch how to use a distressed wood background for my creations. This deep purple Cattleya is one I did with that background and backed with a magnet so I could bring my orchids into my kitchen all year round.

 Many of my plants are mounted on tree bark, as with this Vanda. It is very easy to get them to flourish this way, since orchid roots LOVE to spread out all over, like delicate fingers reaching out to you.

Then I received a lesson from Cindy Lietz on Faux Wood Veneer, which seemed to give the background a more natural look. Here is the latest recreation of one of my blooms on that lighter wood background, complete with its delicate fingers.
I seem to have a fascination with all flowers, not only orchids, and am contemplating adding more species to my "forever blooming" collection. Could  the reason be because my middle name is Rose?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Suddenly Spring Challenge Blog Hop

Today is the day! We get to reveal what we have done to the winter blue bracelet Michelle Mach sent to everyone who entered, with a challenge to make it over, into something for spring.

 I quote directly from her post: "Your challenge is to turn this bracelet into a piece of spring jewelry.  You might add flowers, leaves, birds, or other springtime symbols.  You also might think about color."

FLOWERS, of course! COLOR, how could you do flowers without color! Since my medium is polymer clay, my mind immediately went to creating a spring time bouquet, complete with all its delicate petals, leaves and accents of shading in so many springtime bursts of color. But what about those crystals from the bracelet? You know what they reminded me of? Raindrops falling gently from the sky to bring all the flowers into bloom. Hence my necklace which I have decided to call:

April Showers - Bring May Flowers (in March)

All of the flowers and leaves are my own polymer clay creations on wired sky blue seed beads. The crystal raindrops dangle between the flowers on silver filigree bead cones, and beads.

(Details shots of some of the flowers)

I had a couple of the turquoise and deep blue Iris blooms left so I made a pair of earrings to go with the necklace.

I had an amazing time working on this challenge. Thank you Michelle, for including me in it, and thanks to you for coming to see my offering, but now I am off to see everyone else's work. HAPPY SPRING!

Here's the full list of everyone in the Blog Hop:

Friday, March 2, 2012

It's a Zoo out There!

Have been busy with a large custom order, lately, but can't resist doing a Blog post on this Polymer Clay Smooshers topic. Since I live in central Florida, when I think zoo, my mind automatically gravitates to SeaWorld and all the fantastic exhibits there. My daughter was just recently down from NJ for a visit with my grandson, and they made day trips out to Legoland and SeaWorld, and his reaction to SeaWorld was many fold better. OK, enough of the SeaWorld advertisement. Here are some of the Polymer Clay Smoosher creations that fit so perfectly with this topic.

Have never seen one of these you know where, but then again, anything's possible. Of course there is one creature of the sea that can't be left out of this collection:

Hope you enjoyed the aquarium tour!

Suddenly Spring Challenge Teaser

Michelle Mach offered followers the chance to get a wintery blue bracelet and change it into something "springy" (in a spring time theme, not bouncy - although that might be an interesting challenge). I was fortunate to get one of the kits, fell in love with the color of the rondelles and started the creative process going on what to do with them.
The blog post for this challenge is coming up on March 13, and have my entry almost complete, but thought I would put a teaser in here now for a pair of matching earrings I did for it. Come back on the 13th and see the finished work.