Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Working on Earrings

The last two days have been really beautiful over here. The sun is shining, the birds are singing and it feels like spring is just around the corner. Of course the weather forecast is telling me to get real and put those sunglasses away...

Anyway, now that the giveaway is finished and the earrings are on their way to Petronella, I can go back to my little den and work on more crochet jewellery and also on the promised blog re-design - in short work in progress as always.

I thought that while I'm working, I can show you a few cute pictures I took yesterday, while working on the earrings. I'm really loving the colors!

Friday, 22 January 2010

Giveaway Winner

And the winner is...(drum roll)...
kraplap! Congratulations

Kraplap, please contact me through email (crafty[dot]maria[dot]design[at]gmail[dot]com)
and send me your address, so you can enjoy the earrings as soon as possible.

Once again, thank you all for participating in this giveaway. I lack the heart of a capitalist cause I would now like to give the earrings to all of you... Anyway, stay tuned to hear about more fun to come!

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Pre-Launch Earrings Giveaway

Today a special treat for all my blog readers: collection pre-launch giveaway! What you can get is earrings from one of the photos to the left and the rules are very simple:

1. Choose the earrings you like the most (1-green, 2-blue, 3-yellow
and 4-yellow rounds)
2. Post a comment saying which ones you like most and where
would you were it (everyday, party, family functions, circus etc.).
No anonymity comments will be taken under consideration - I need
to know who wins!
3. On Friday (22.01) morning I will draw one name at random and
announce the lucky winner!

Simple, isn't it? So don't wait and post your comments. I can't wait to send one of these babies away :D

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Earrings Tested on Animals

I am a very fussy customer. When I buy something, I really want to get high quality and good value for my money. This often leads to swearing off certain brands or shops and arguing with dishonest sellers. So in general a bit of extra stress in my life.

But my fussiness has also positive aspects. For instance it makes me more sensitive to my own products' quality. I dread the idea that my customer would come back and complain about their purchase.

So when I made first earrings from the new 2010 Collection, I knew I had to make damn sure that they were durable. As a crazyhead woman, I know perfectly well that jewellery (especially the fav one) goes through a number of ordeals. It is often tugged at, taken off and put on repeatedly, and stuffed into bags and pockets.

To make sure that my new jewellery is up to the task, I gave my earrings the following treatment:
  • I wore them every day for a weak through normal day's chores and to a party
  • I wore them in bad, wet weather and heavy rain
  • I wore them under a hat
  • they travelled through 3 European countries stuffed into a pocket
  • they survived family Christmas with me
  • they were used as a toy for my cat (see picture)
And they are still pretty and in exactly the same shape as they were when I finished them. After this treatment, I can, with all honesty, say: approved for women's life!

(Note: no fat and lazy animal was hurt during this photoshoot)

Friday, 15 January 2010

Stripping the Blog

So, I got tired with google blog templates. Their boring and every second person on the web uses them. In short, they are not worthy of a crafty person.

Now, I like to make plans and talk to people about fantastic projects that, in the end, never get realized. I talk myself out of them or I simply forget.

So this time, I decided to strip my blog of any design, until I learn how to create a really good blog design (or to modify a really good blog template). Keep your fingers crossed!

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

2010 LifeCreative Jewellery Collection

I thought I might give you a sneak peek into the crochet jewellery collection I've been working on from the beginning of the year.

I'm having a lot of fun with this project. I really enjoy the process of crocheting and then starching the pieces to achieve the desired form. The items will be for sale in my etsy shop at the end of February! Or earlier if I can't wait any longer :)

You can see more photos here and here.

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Polymer Clay Treasury

Photo curtsy of rabinowitzorly

Following my recent fascination with polymer clay, I browsed etsy to see what polymer items are there. And I found an amazing variety of projects, from sculptures and household items, through beads and pendants, to buttons and pens.

And so, I decided to share my finds with the wide world through this treasury. Look around and enjoy the beautiful items.

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Review: Polymer Clay Books

Picture curtsy of Alkhymeia

I have recently rediscovered one of the most amazing craft materials, polymer clay. I grew envious of all those etsy clay artists and their fabulous projects (see my favorites) and decided to try for myself. Well, the first attempt was quite a failure...it just isn't as simple as it looks.

But loving the possibilities of polymer clay, I have decided not to give up and to keep on trying. Baby steps and so on, after all, practice makes the master.
To support my amateur tries, I bought (or was given) 3 polymer clay books:
  1. The Art of Polymer Clay Millefiori Techniques by Donna Kato
  2. The Polymer Clay Techniques Book by Sue Heaser
  3. Polymer Clay for the First Time by Syndee Holt
The first two books have their particular strenghts each. Donna Kato's book is an in depth study of one polymer clay technique and provides many examples of how to use millefiori in your projects. On the other hand, Sue Heaser's The Polymer Clay Techniques Books is a quick overwiew of over 50 techniques and can serve as a great beginner's guide to polymer clay.

Unfortunately, I have also purchesaed Polymer Clay for the First Time by Syndee Holt. And trust me, it was a mistake. The book is a perfect example in how NOT TO write craft books. It contains some meritorical advice and a few decent projects but most of the work shown in the book looks at the very best amaturish (and sometimes it is simply ugly). The color of the pages looks like from an old newspaper and, despite the fact that the book was published in 2005, project pictures are grim, poorly lighted and they all seem to have been taken on a table from the '50s which only adds to the unattractivness of the work presented. On top of it all the texts in the book are also written in rather poor English.
It is a toroughly uninspiring book and if this was my only source of knowledge about polymer clay, I would have thrown out my Fimo supplies and never come back to this material again. Trully shame.

Stay tuned for more in depth reviews of The Art of Polymer Clay Millefiori Techniques and The Polymer Clay Techniques Book.

Saturday, 2 January 2010

Happy 2010!

First of all, I'd like to wish all my readers and the entire craft community a very happy and insanly productive 2010!!!

Ah, 2nd of January, the day of reflections. The hangover after New Years party is gone and we can finally sit down and reflect over the last year and our plans for the year to come.

Just before NYE I stumbled upon this post in Yes and Yes blog and I thought that it was a great idea to concentrate on last years accomplishments. I am usually one of the "glass half empty and what are we going to do about this?!?" kind of person, so it would be only too easy for me to focus on what did not go so well in 2009. So, inspired by Sarah, I discarded all the unhappy thoughts and here is the list of things, I am proud about:

1. I finished my university degree with an outstanding result.
2. I worked with a great charity and learned a lot from them. This was also the moment when I realized what kind of job I want to do.
3. Together with my fiancé, we survived moving our lives to Denmark. It was not easy or stress-free.
4. I am learning Danish and have already passed 2 levels of state examinations.
5. I started to run. Ok, not very regularly, but there has been an improvement in my generla form.
6. I learned a lot about how to deal with my stress issues and I'm getting better at it.
7. I opened my Etsy store and this blog. It gives me a lot of satisfaction to craft and see your reactions to what I make. It has also opened a dam of creativity and I am constantly flooded with new ideas.
8. I got to travel around UK a bit and see Oxford, Cambridge and a few other places.
9. ...and I got engaged. OK, I know it is not an accomplishment, but still something to rejoice!

Of course, it wouldn't be a proper New Year period without...RESOLUTIONS. And no, I am not naive. I know perfectly well that, half of the items from the list below is never going to happen. But I like making plans, dreaming and writing up list. So here goes my resolutions:

1. I'll make a conscious effort to be more positive and open to new ideas, people and situations.
2. I'll run regularly
3. I'll apply for university to complete masters degree
4. I'll learn to speak Danish
5. I'll volunteer for a charity (preferably international development one)
6. I'll list more items in my etsy store and continue with this blog
7. I'll get married and not loose my mind (or make someone else loose theirs) over some unimportant detail
8. I'll write 2 short stories...

...there. I guess that's enough. I hope that in 2011, I will be able to report to you that I have accomplished all of the things on my 2010 list. And I wish you all that you will have beautiful dreams for the coming year and that you will find satisfaction in working to accomplish them.

Picture curtsy of Christopher Chan