Saturday, October 27, 2012

Polymer Clay Journal Cover Swap

Awhile back I signed up for a Polymer Clay Journal Cover Swap over at the Polymer Clay Swaps group on Facebook. I was paired up with a lovely gal, Pat S., in Canada. This swap was originally to be one journal cover that the recipient could attach to a pre-existing journal. But since Pat was great at binding journals, she offered to make me a completed one. I let her know that since I had maybe bound one book waaaaay back when, I would at least make her two covers and include some beads. She likes to add tassels of beads hanging from the spine (very cool!).

Although we had both asked each other about favorite colors, themes, etc., we basically let our creativity take over knowing that we'd each be happy with what we received. Here is the beautifully detailed journal that Pat sent me:

I love all the detail in her canework and texture! What a lovely combination of purples and blues. Thanks, Pat!

As always, part of me always complains after I've signed up for a swap. Sometimes it can be where you have to make a whole set/theme of something depending on how many are in the group. Other times, like this one, you swap with just one person. But if you have ever debated about doing a swap, I would say it because it's a great challenge for yourself. Look at it that way. Make your best work possible with the focus on the giving, not the receiving. Sometimes you may enjoy and love what you receive (as I have, with Pat), sometimes it might not be your taste, but participate with the intention of giving away the best you can do. I have come across new ideas and ways of working due to these different swaps, and I might not have come across or been pushed to that point of an idea had it not been for these challenges. And as a bonus, Pat and I have become good email friends, and I'm sure we will continue our correspondence in the years to come.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Frustration, Fluster-Busters and Little Successes!

Yesterday was just one of those days. I had grand ideas floating around in my head and they looked oh-so-good. Then I tried to create them. And they looked oh-so-ehhh...

But I mean, that's fine. I know about frustration, and I actually embrace it these days. It's part of the creative process. You have to experience frustration at some point in order to have a breakthrough, you just HAVE TO.  But everyone deals with it differently.

Here are my go-to Fluster-Busters:
  1. Keep doing what I'm doing (because sooner or later I learn something, either what to do or what not to do)
  2. Do something else to give my mind a break. Go for a walk, do some yardwork, etc.
  3. Eat. This has its own number because eating really is not giving your mind a break. It just causes a whole set of problems: what do I want to eat? leftovers? cook something? hey, didn't the Pioneer Woman have a recipe for a yummy chocolate something or other??

I actually ended up going to sleep. I guess that should've been #4.

Today was a better day, as I finished the 2nd crown from Tejae's tutorial. That was my first little success. Like I mentioned before, following a tutorial or project can be helpful when you're stuck in a rut. It actually gives my mind a break, temporarily (until lots of ideas and versions come flooding in).

Then I wanted to post a pic of the crowns, but I had taken the lazyman's way out and took pics of them on the kitchen counter. So what did I do? Played around with Photoshop (obviously not the lazyman's way to do things). This is the result, my second little success:

I tried to have fun without making it too cheesy. What do you think? I'm still quite chuffed with myself...that's me in the corner, queen of my own little world...

Do you have any fluster-busters to share? Any little or BIG successes? No? Then leave me your favorite recipe (or a link to it)! :)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

An Enchanting Crown

Recently I felt stuck in a rut. Not inspired, not excited about anything.

Then I tried out a new tutorial, "Enchanting Crowns," from my friend, Tejae Floyde. Talk about a lot of fun!

What excited me was that I would be able to pull out my stash of paints and go to town. I enjoy mixed media pieces and I liked being able to add crystals and layer on all these metallic paints.  Tejae discusses how the options and variations are endless. In fact, I have lots of ideas brewing now!

Tutorials are a fun diversion when you don't feel inspired. Whether it's a technique or a project, you're bound to learn something new. Here's to more creative exploration and possibilities!

Have you used tutorials? Do you like online tutorials? Videos? Let me know. :)

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Flower pendants and rings

Hello everyone!

It's been awhile, hasn't it? I hope you are all enjoying your summer. We have been having such warm weather here in Colorado with very little rain. I've been trying to keep my flowers alive and from becoming deer snacks! Even with "deer resistant" plants, like the garden store guy told me, "The problem is the deer don't read too good." Hah. I should've known!

Just wanted to share some pendants and rings I've made recently.  All deer resistant. :) Most will be listed on my Etsy site in the next couple days.

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Spring beads

Spring beads - by Jainnie Jenkins
Just wanted to show the spring beads I made for the Mile High Polymer Clay Guild bead swap for April 2012.  The theme was "spring" colors.  This started off as a challenge in many ways for me.  First of all, I wanted to find a way to incorporate colors so it wouldn't just be pastel colored beads.  Then, I wanted to work a little more loosely or organically.  Lastly, I wanted to create some shapes for spring that might suggest blossoming or growth or just plain fun.  I also wanted to make 21 beads that were different, yet similar. I think I succeeded!

21 beads for spring bead swap - by Jainnie Jenkins
These beads were all made from one ball of polymer clay.  I pinched and formed the beads with my fingers, used wax-modeling tools and others to create the textures and shapes, then layered on pearl-ex powders.  Post-curing (in my clay dedicated toaster oven), I scrubbed off most of the pearl-ex leaving enough to accent the textures and shapes.  I must say that the Reflex Purple pearl-ex is one of my favorite colors to use!!

I really loved all these beads as a set, and I'm a little sad that they went to different homes.  But hopefully their recipients will enjoy them! These can be used with other beads, or used as a focal bead or pendant.  Maybe I'll have to make another set for myself!  I'm also envisioning these loose, organic shapes as ornaments!... stay tuned...

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Flower pendants in polymer clay

I wanted to share a couple of pics of my favorite flower pendants in polymer clay.  Okay, granted I've only made a couple of these so far, but I'm really liking them. These are made with artist-grade polymer clay (a.k.a. Premo) and mica powders.

A good clay friend, Barb H., was giving me some feedback on the first piece, the pink one, and wondering if I could add in some flower buds or sort of sideways flowers.  Well, I think I did pretty good adding the flower buds on the second one, the gold one.  (You can click on the photos to see them larger)

Flower pendant with pink background - by Jainnie Jenkins
Flower pendant with gold background - by Jainnie Jenkins

I'll have to really start looking at flower pics!  I realize these are not really any specific type of flower, and my sometimes over-analytical nature has me thinking..."Hmmm, I wonder if these buds match this made-up flower?"  But I still think it's rather pretty.  To me, there is also a bit of an Asian feel to them.

It's really quite funny, I had posted a pic of the gold one in progress (on Facebook) and then said it was in danger of being overworked.  Ahh, that's what happens when you are just "going with it" and trying to feel it out as you go along.  It can be quite a tedious process, with figuring out whether you need one more flower bud, one more leaf, is there flow through the piece, is it too busy, what will "connect" each part (since they are not on stems)... but I secretly kind of love it!  Art is all about challenge and working through the frustrations.  It makes the end product so much more fulfilling, even if it can still be improved upon or have a different outcome.  But I have decided I really should start rough sketching what I want to do to see if that helps my process any.

As a sidenote, I wanted to say that if you view this picture larger, the shading around the flowers (on the gold background) may seem a bit imperfect, but I think it's just the photo I took with my phone.  It doesn't look like that in person! :)

Let me know what you think. I love to hear comments and I love critiques! 

Monday, April 02, 2012

Beads with Blooms on Polymer Clay Daily!

I woke up this morning and what did I see...
Polymer Clay Daily featuring me!

Thank you, Cynthia Tinapple!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Some new pendants and a ring!

Just wanted to share some new pieces!

Sangria Pendant - by Jainnie Jenkins

Taos Dream Pendant - by Jainnie Jenkins

It's a Cool Summer Pendant - by Jainnie Jenkins

Margarita Pendant - by Jainnie Jenkins

Monday, March 12, 2012

New work

Here is a peek at my new work. Just in time for spring!

new ring - polymer clay in metal

new ring - polymer clay in metal

Friday, February 24, 2012

Earrings - #3 and #4 - faux turquoise and various beads

I just spent all evening trying to get a couple pairs of earrings finished. *sigh* What a pain. I laid out the beads I thought I would use...and I thought it looked good on my table. But the actual combining of elements was a whole other story.

These use my version of faux turquoise. I haven't made faux turquoise for quite some time, but it was still okay for me. I used various turquoise and green colors of Premo polymer clay, embossing powders, and burnt umber paint.

Earrings #3 - Faux turquoise in polymer clay, red agate, sterling silver, various beads
Earrings #4 - Faux turquoise in polymer clay, sterling silver, freshwater pearls, various beads

I've only dabbled in jewelery techniques in the past and I have to keep reminding myself that continued work and effort will eventually show some improvement.  Keep calm and carry on, right?

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Earrings - #1 and #2 - polymer clay / mixed media

Here are a couple of pictures of mixed media polymer clay earrings I made.  

Earrings #1
These were made with polymer clay, Lumiere paints, Artistic Wire (permanently colored copper wire), and various Swarovski, glass, and wooden beads.  I've also bought some wire working books which I'm hoping will help with my jewelery skills. Come back to see what I'm making, or follow me (using the link on the right) to get new blog posts via email. :)

Earrings #2

Monday, January 23, 2012

Recent texture sheet experiments

Handmade heart using original texture sheet I created
Recently I tried out some Sculpey Bake and Bend clay, on the suggestion from my clay friend, Tejae.  I've previously made texture sheets with regular 'ole polymer clay, and also the Super Elasticlay (which I'm not even sure is still available).  I must say, it really does bend quite well! And you can run it through the pasta machine with a sheet of clay if you make the texture sheet thin enough.

Bake and Bend texture sheet on the left, polymer clay impression on the right
You do have to watch that you're not "warming away" the texture while forming your piece.  I'll probably have to learn to let the clay "sit" for awhile to firm up / cool down, but I'm really not good at doing that!

I'm going to be making more texture sheets, so make sure to stop by and see what I'm doing. :)