Friday, 25 July 2014

Oops! Missed again!

Ok, so maybe England's first decent summer since my childhood (if I can remember back that far) was not the best time to get back into blogging... yes I missed last Friday... again...lots going on with the family meant that I completely forgot when it came to the day :( 

This week I've been so busy getting ready for an appearance on Jewellery Maker TV next Monday afternoon that yet another Friday almost slipped past me... but I caught it just in time to realise that I hadn't prepared anything for it... sorry! (Note to self: must try harder!)

On a positive note I've almost cleared the space in the garden for my studio shed...fingers crossed I make it out of the dining room before the year is out!

Can't wait til Monday when I will get to show everyone that tunes into JM tv's Designer Inspiration show the new techniques I've come up with for Efcolor enamelling. Here's a little teaser to whet your appetite... hope you can join me!

Friday, 11 July 2014

Efcolor and Paracord braiding

Ok...excuses for not blogging last Friday...

1. The dog ate my blog post
2. I was kidnapped by aliens
3. There was no Friday last week
4. I was so busy getting ready for the enamelling demo at Colemans Craft Warehouse on Saturday that I completely forgot!

I leave it to you to decide which one was most likely ;)

The demo was an absolute hoot by the way, despite the fact that there was a grand prix at Silverstone just down the road and there were 3 tennis finals matches at Wimbledon, as well as numerous other events and fairs going on in and around the neighbourhood. I'm so grateful to everyone who did manage to tear themselves away from the tv or other exciting events, brave the weather and drop in to Colemans. I hope you all enjoyed the usual friendly welcome from the lovely Colemans staff (not to mention the yummy tea and cake) and managed to take advantage of all the crafty bargains on offer!

There were a couple of things that interested people the most and they were the swirled effect I had created with the Efcolor and the paracord bands that I had attached some enamelled blanks to.

I will be producing a project sheet for anyone who needs reminders on how to create the swirled effect, but for those of you who can't wait here's a quick reminder...

First basecoat your blank with white, ivory or black Efcolor powder. Then, when cool, cover with another layer of the base colour before adding some random lines of other colours. Place the blank back on the tealight stove until the powder has melted. Then, whilst it is still on the stove, carefully drag a pointed tool (such as a needle tool or fine embossing tool) through the melted enamel, swirling the colours. Leave the blank on the stove to allow the enamel to settle and smooth out any major grooves created by the tool before removing. 

Paracord braiding is very popular at the moment. I found out from one Colemans visitor that the idea originally came from the military as the cord used in the bands is the same lightweight nylon kemmantle used in parachutes. The military found the cord so useful that it is now considered a general purpose utility cord and has been used by paratroopers in the field for all sorts of things. Hikers and outdoor sports enthusiasts use 'survival bracelets' made from several feet of paracord as part of their emergency kit. The bracelets are a compact convenient way to carry a length of rope which can be unraveled to be used for all sorts of things such as to secure cargo, fixing broken straps, or as a tourniquet. 

Now that they are becoming a bit of a fashion statement I thought it might be fun to combine Efcolor enamelling with the new craft craze...

Cobra paracord weave
Viper paracord weave

So, when enamelling, make sure you use a blank which has two holes so that once you have finished your masterpiece you can sew it with some transparent thread to attach it to your braid. :)