Altered Art: My ‘Sit & Be’ Windchime

I was once asked by a therapist if I could just ‘sit and be’. Back then, it was a concept that made no more sense than someone speaking double dutch. Nowadays, I have come to learn that it is at least something I’d like to aspire to, and am beginning to understand how to. To that end, I have spent some of today in the ‘now’ of creativity, converting the side panels of an old caravan belonging to my grandfather into this decorative all-weather wind chime:

The aluminium came from the caravan panels, and was coated with tar on one side and a thick layer of oxidation and algae on the other.


I used tin snips to cut out my discs, and a piercing saw to cut out the middle sections as well as the individual hanging shapes. A rub back with steel wool and turps, then a beating with a ball pein hammer before punching the text in gives the texture. I used Silks Acrylic to fill the text and add a splash of colour.

The texts are various reminders about taking time out to be still – for me, the reminders are still very much needed!

Paper Bead Jewellery Display (for Jones Crafts)

Complete ProjectThis project for Jones Crafts shows the versatility of scrapbooking papers – why do a 12×12″ layout when you can make wearable art? Combine with Jones’ buttons and perfect jewellery sets can easily be made. Mount your pieces in the Kaisercraft large jewellery organiser and your wearable art becomes a home decor piece in it’s own right. The paper beads are splash proof thanks to the varnish, are tough due to the lamination, but are not water proof and will be damaged if soaked.

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Family Circle 1901

This is my final project as a member of the WOW! Embossing Powder Design Team. This family project published today, here, features my great great grandfather and his eight children. I’m in a black and white phase at the minute, and wondered if the whole frame looked a little funereal, but then others have said it’s quite gothic and in keeping with the end of the Victorian era. I’ll go with that 😉

When you can’t get leather… try grungepaper!

Hi – this morning has been spent on a commission. I have been asked to wear something I have made using WOW! Embossing Powder when I’m demonstrating at the NEC next week [Hobbycrafts Exhibition, stand M12-15]. Though I didn’t immediately dismiss necklace or earrings, I didn’t think I’d enjoy the ear lobe crushing of a clip on, and necklaces just dangle in the melt pot… So I came up with two ‘man bracelets’:

Both bracelets are made from grungepaper coloured with Vintage Photo and Walnut Stain distress inks, embossed using Tim Holtz texture fades embossing folders, stuck down with Studio matte multi medium. Sewing reinforces the whole thing and the fastening is a Tim Holtz copper hitch. Bracelet 1 features the new WOW! Special Edition Embossing Glitters (Caribbean Jewels) due to be launched at the NEC. Bracelet 2 (The Other Wrist) features the WOW! metallic embossing powders. Grungeboard would work as well, but I didn’t have a size that wrapped round my wrist!

College Term 4 – Jewellery – Week 6 – Part 2

In a previous post you saw my aluminium and perspex necklace, bracelet and earring set. I also designed a second (bonus) piece using the offcuts from the perspex rings, and finished it today:

I’ve added silver wire tangles to the perspex rings. Each of the flowers were hand sawn from sheet aluminium and hammered into shape before being riveted onto the centre offcuts from the laser cut perspex rings. I’m planning to do two more flowers in the session tomorrow to complete a pair of matching earrings.

And I think I’m getting better at product photography! Rather pleased with the serendipitous lighting on this one – early morning in the conservatory with a bit of level tweaking in Photoshop. No artificial lights were used in the production of this image.

College Term 4 – Jewellery – Week 6

We’ve spent the last five weeks learning about the various ways of soldering (butt and sweat), cold joining with rivets, surface design (heat colouring, mill impressions, hammering) and playing with a laser cutter (I want one!). This week over five hours of lesson time, it was our time to make our own design – this is what I came up with:

Each of the metal discs were cut by hand from aluminium sheet, hammered to give texture, and wire brushed to make matte. I designed the acrylic flowers and circles to scale in Adobe Illustrator and these were cut from 3mm acrylic sheet on the laser cutter. They are attached to the aluminium discs using 2mm chenier tube rivets – several had to be done again as I was a little heavy handed at the beginning and cracked the acrylic. Links are commercial jump rings, as is the chain – time pressures didn’t allow me to make my own. Not that I’d know where to start making chain! I’m really pleased with the result, and aside from the laser cutting, all the techniques are feasible in a home studio.

Beaded Wire Coil Necklace

This is a beginner’s kit from Bojangle Beads in Loughborough, which is quite an Aladdin’s Cave if you happen to be in the area. I bought it at Christmas, but it’s been languishing unmade since then, and in a spurt of creativity yesterday I got it done 🙂

The kit contains all you need (apart from pliers) including plenty of beads, and the coil section is ready made. There are instructions included, though these need editing, don’t contain any illustrations, and aren’t all that intuitive for a first timer to follow.

And I’m having fun with my new camera trying out all the different ways to photograph products! Seems shiny things, as I’ve discovered before, can be quite tricky, but dialling down the auto-exposure has helped a lot 🙂