Friday, November 30, 2012

Thread Wrapped Glass Pendant Upcycling Fun

Time for another pendant post! This little guy is made from decorative glass pebbles which I found in the fish tank section of a shop here in Granada!

I fused the glass together in the kiln so they joined at the top and separate at the bottom, a little bit like a wishbone. Then I wrapped wire around the join and created a loop for a chain or cord to go through.
Next I wrapped the two individual sides with royal blue and burnt orange threads and sewed in a blue button and a gold charm to bring the colours together. I'm a little bit obsessed with orange and blue, as anyone who was at our wedding in England will testify! It's by far my favourite pair of complimentary colours.

When it was finished I coated the whole thing in a layer of varnish to strengthen the thread and bring out the shine of the glass.









Wednesday, November 28, 2012

RebelMouse

Hola Folks!

I wanted to share something non craft related with you for a moment. This is for the bloggers and social media peeps out there who want an easy way to promote themselves online. Some of you may already be on RebelMouse, a relatively new social media and publishing platform site created by the former Huffington Post CTO Paul Berry. Think of it as the front page of your internet life. Everything in one place, instantly. It connects with your Twitter and FB  and instantly posts all of your updates in one place. You can customise and rearrange your rebel mouse highlighting the things that are most important to you. Sign up for free here https://www.rebelmouse.com/

I was very excited when the lovely Eric from the RebelMouse team offered to design a custom template for my page. He incorporated my blog backgound and Etsy banner to make it beautiful.
My page is the guinea pig for this tutorial video which he has made so that everyone can easily do it at home.


Rebel Mouse is about to explode into the social media scene, so get in there while it's fresh and get traffic to your blog, website, shop and more! Visit http://RebelMouseForBusiness.com for help promoting your business.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Melted Marble Pendants, Revisited!

This week I am revamping an old project, my melted marble pendants from the earlier days of my blog. The particular ones I'm working with used to look like this...


Unlike the rest of the marble pendants these were actually fused twice. I broke them into small pieces after the first fusing and put them in the kiln again to get the effects pictured above. I really like how the colours are more fragmented after 2 firings. I attached small bails and planned to use them as pendants but the bails I originally used had such tiny holes that it was hard to find a cord or chain to fit them. 

Then came my excited revelation that you can actually make holes in glass cabachons without a drill! You can read all about that here. So off I go again with the microwave kiln, this time layering the existing pieces above clear glass pebbles with the fibre paper strips in between to make the hole. 

What I came up with is much larger, thicker and striking glass beads. I'm so glad that the fragmented colours are still intact since that was my favourite thing about these pieces. Now I love them even more! I'm planning to make a statement necklace with these in the near future.





I've just noticed that this post is also a testament to my improving photography skills... I've still got a long way to go but that's a serious before and after!

Melted Wine Bottle Neck

Morning all!
You may remember a while ago I posted a necklace I'd made by recycling wine and beer bottles. I fused the individual pieces layered with that lovely sparkly Dichroic glass in the microwave kiln.
Well when I was wildly smashing up bottles with a hammer for said project (just kidding, it was a very calm affair with lots of layers of plastic bags and my eyes were squeezed firmly shut due to a lack of safety goggles) I got lucky and ended up with the top piece of the bottle neck completely intact and just about small enough to squeeze into the kiln. I put pieces of Dichroic glass inside the bottle neck before it was fired.
After the first firing, the lip of the bottle split quite neatly and I was able to put some more Dichroic scrap into the split. I fired it again and came up with this baby...



It's pretty big and quite heavy. I'm thinking of perhaps wire wrapping it and turning it into a pendant. I'll need some thick heavy duty chain or cord to support it, so I'm waiting for my new supplies to arrive before I make a decision. Any other ideas for this blob of melted glass?

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Winter Time Bell Bracelet

I've been playing around with cool wintry colours a lot this week and I've made this bracelet with a variety of silver and blue beads, charms and of course some seasonal jingle bells!


Saturday, November 24, 2012

Thread Wrapped Elephant!

I thought I'd take a snap of my current project, this cute little thread wrapped Elephant pendant. It's part of a necklace that I bought when we first moved to Granada. I've wrapped different coloured threads around the intricate loops of the metal to make it a much more cozy pendant. I'm not finished yet, it takes forever, but it's very fun and addictive. Now that I'm hooked I'm sure I'll be doing this with lots of animals, let me know if you have any requests!


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Wire wrapping ideas

I've gone a bit mad on ebay recently and I've ordered all sorts of beads, findings, wires and glass to keep me going into 2013. A lot of it I have ordered to England and my parents are kindly bringing it over to Spain for me. They arrive in December so I have to wait until then to unwrap all of the goodies. In the meantime I'm planning all sorts of fun projects I can do with my new materials. I can't wait to practice wire wrapping more, I already wire wrap some items but I'm waiting on a few tools so I can create something a bit more detailed. I found this very simple and very elegant easy tutorial on how to do wire wrapped loops on your favourite beads. http://www.fusionbeads.com/Wire-Wrapping


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Musical Bracelet!

Afternoon! Just a quick update on my crafting and jewellery adventure of the day.. I've just finished this bracelet, featuring yellow and gold acrylic beads and brass bells that make a lovely sound when they move. 




Check it out here

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Charm Bracelet

Good evening (or morning, depending on where you are) everyone! I wanted to show you my most recent finished product, a twist on a standard charm bracelet.
It's quite understated since the charms are not very big, and I have spaced them all between royal blue acrylic beads and my favourite glass seed beads. As a side note, I just realised today that I can fuse the glass seed beads in the micro-kiln, officially securing their position as my favourite. I can't believe I've had them all this time and I never knew!! 

Well here she is...




                           It'll be on etsy later along with some other new things. 

Pendant Restoration!

It's round 2 for this pendant. I fused this piece a couple of years ago while I was in the States, covered it in copper tape and attempted to solder it to make a nice metal backing and frame. I'm not sure if it was me, the soldering iron, the flux or perhaps a combination of all 3 but I could never seem to get this right. I lost many beautiful pendants to the "blobby solder problem". Have a look at this old post for a few more disaster examples. Here is this pendants "before" shot..
It actually looked even worse on the back. I couldn't wear it because the lumps on the back made it very scratchy. So There it sat in my supplies for years until yesterday, I decided to give it a new lease of life. 






 So using my now ruined nails and a stitch unpick-er (I improvise a lot) I managed to finally remove the hideous backing. I sanded it, polished it and attached a bail and voilà, a funky ready to wear upcycled pendant is born. I had a hard time capturing the colours on my camera as is always the case with Dichroic glass. It looks very 80's retro in real life.



So now I have an appeal. If anyone knows the secret to soldering pendants covered in copper tape and can avoid the blob problem, I would love to hear from you! I gave up a couple of years ago and have been using other techniques instead, but I've seen some beautiful soldered pendants so it must be possible!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Cut a Glass Bottle Easily

Good morning everyone!
Since I've started playing around with wine bottles in my jewellery I've found some brilliant uses for them across the internet. The main problem is how to cut the glass in the first place. For my jewellery I've found simply smashing them and using the individual pieces works great. But what if you wanted to do a bigger project? I found out there are several ways you can cut cut glass at home and it seems surprisingly easy.

Check out this video from an enthusiastic booze bottle cutter who uses a glass scoring tool with boiling water and cold water http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sFXngPx3w3M

Last night me and the husband had a go using a very small piece of glass, not a bottle. I don't have the proper tool that this guy has, but I do have an engraver tool so I tried my best to "stress" the glass with that. We ran boiling water than cold tap water over the glass a few times but to no avail. We did succeed in weakening the glass and causing a crack (nowhere near where I engraved mind you) and I managed to snap off a nice chunk to make a pendant.
So it's probably not the best method to cut smaller thicker glass, but seems to work a treat on wine bottles. I really like what the guy in the video is doing, turning the bottom half of the bottles into drinking glasses. Genius!




Saturday, November 17, 2012

ETSY SALE!

For a very limited time there is 15% off every item in my shop. Also get free shipping on lots of items!
Type in coupon code SALE15 at the checkout
gracegaldo.etsy.com

New discoveries..

I found a brilliant guide online about making holes in fused glass pendants. It's an amazing discovery for me to know that I can just use the kiln fibre paper (which is really cheap, bonus!) It's great to not always have to use a bail.  You can even make glass beads.

This site has loads of information on glass fusing

http://www.glass-fusing-made-easy.com/holes-in-pendants.html

Also, I'm joining Bloglovin. Have a gander

<a href="http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/4246501/?claim=rmk2t4unqau">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>


Recycled Wine and Beer Bottles

I have started using the glass bottles in our recycling bin to make glass pendants. It was a bit of a risk, because you never know the compatibility of different types of glass before you put them in the kiln and explosions are common. In a stoke of luck, it turns out they fuse perfectly with dichroic glass. So here is my latest creation made from all beer bottles, wine bottles and sea-glass. It's eco-friendly and a great excuse to drink more!

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This neckalce and much more is available to buy at my Etsy shop 


DIY Lampshade to Try at Home

You may have seen these before in the form of a lampshade, usually for a small light bulb (eg. a reading light) made from seemingly nothing but string.
They are brilliant and so easy. I've made 3 so far. Here is the first one...

'
This one is quite big so it's still sitting on the shelf acting as more of an "ornament" for now until I find a nice big light bulb for it. 






 This is a smaller version that I made in a pair for our reading lights by our bed. These didn't turn out as well as the first attempt because when the balloon popped it kind of sucked the string into itself (imploded?). Even so, I quite like the messy effect it gives, it looks like it might have been intentional (which, of course, it wasn't).



So how do you make them? Well. All you need is a balloon, some PVA glue and some string. It's quite a messy job so newspaper on the work surface is probably wise.

Blow up the balloon and knot it. It helps to sit it on something. I used a flower pot.

Lightly paint you balloon with a mixture of 3/4 PVA glue (that Elmer's for the yanks)  and 1/4 water. Tie the string to the knot in the balloon.

Now its time to wrap. And wrap. And wrap a bit more, until the whole balloon is covered. Try going in different directions, making sure to cross any gaps that appear. Then cover the whole thing in a layer of pure PVA and let it dry.

Give it a while. At least 24 hours to be sure. The string should be hard and the balloon will probably be looking quite limp inside it's string shell. Pop the balloon (or if you have an irrational phobia of this, like I do, get a friend or family member to do it for you). Then all you have to do is cut around the top to create a hole just big enough to slip over your light bulb. And there you go....almost free, super easy and totally funky looking lampshades!
A nice Christmas decoration idea is to make lots of slightly smaller ones in Christmas colours, cut very small holes and use them as little lamp shades for your fairy lights... ay, ay?! I'll get back to you if I get around to trying that.

I've also done  a variation of this project. Instead of string, I've used coloured leaf skeletons that I snagged for a bargain at Botany Bay (amazing for craft supplies, who knew?). Same process as before, except when the PVA glue had dried, I coated it in a layer of yellow glass varnish.

                     Here is my balloon lamp drying after it's PVA coating.





Below you can see how the bright pinks, greens and blues change to a more muted autumnal colour theme after the yellow varnish coat, which I really like. The varnish is also heat proof for up to 60 watts so no fire hazard (probably).


Here is the finished product...




Here are the materials I used...


Good Luck and Happy Crafting!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Rooftops of Granada!

Yesterday I decided to photograph some of my jewellery again, this time in natural light. It makes such a difference to the quality of the images. So I was upstairs on our roof terrace for most of the afternoon and it was just lovely! The sky was full of dark blue clouds threatening to rain but I was lucky and it stayed dry.
I took this picture of the darkening sky and the light filled buildings in the background. I love Granada!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

My Etsy Shop

My Etsy shop is now officially open and going strong. There I sell a lot of the handmade jewellery that you find here at artforthemostpart and it is regularly updated as I make more.

  gracegaldo.etsy.com


If there is something here on my blog that you would like to have but can't find it on Etsy get in touch!

Pebble Decoupage Madness

I have been seriously addicted to decoupage recently. Every object I see, no matter what it is, I wonder what it would look like if I decoupaged it. So it's no surprise that after finding these pebbles at Salobreña Beach, my first instinct was to decoupage them and then, obviously, make them into a necklace. Here is the result...








I went a bit pebble mad at Salobreña Beach and brought back enough to make these individual pendants. I’ve wrapped them in wire to finish and attached silver chains. Check them out on Etsy.