Saturday 30 January 2010

Quilled fish earrings

I attend a weekly market to sell my cards and crafts, and last week a lady asked me to create a pair of earrings for her in the shape of fishes.  So I made these up using silver and gold quilling strips. She was really pleased, and has asked me to make another pair in lavender and pink which should look good, too.  I think this could be quite a popular design.

Before finishing this post, I'd also like to welcome Janet and my very good friend Virginia who became Followers of my blog this week. Thank you both very much for the interest you have shown in my work - I really am so pleased to be sharing ideas with you.

Coffee jar paperweight

Well, I made the resin-filled paperweight inside my coffee jar lid, with a small paper rosebud set inside (not quilled - I made it using 10 heart shapes punched from red paper, a technique I learned ages ago).  It has turned out quite well, apart from quite a few air bubbles which have settled at the top of the layer of resin.  I'm not sure how this could have been avoided. Anyway, here it is for you to see.  And tomorrow I'm off to the supermarket to buy some more coffee!

Thursday 28 January 2010

Black beauty

Well, this certainly isn't an everyday object - but it's definitely a strange and beautiful thing: a black plant!  I saw it growing in a pot in the courtyard of my local cafe.  The leaves and fruit are all totally black. How does it grow without being green? Does anyone know what it is?

Monday 25 January 2010

Creativity and coffee jars

Now that I've made my first successful quilled paperweight, I can't wait to get started on making some more.  And I'm realising that I don't just have to use purpose-made moulds - I can use everyday objects, too.

This coffee jar has been sitting on my kitchen shelf for ages, and suddenly I noticed that it has a beautiful glass lid which is hollow inside - just perfect for pouring resin into.

So, as soon as I've created a quilled motif to fit inside it, I will be 'casting' this as a paperweight too.  The main difference will be that the resin will stay permanently inside the glass instead of being 'turned out' of a mould.  The top of the coffee jar lid will become the base of the paperweight.

As I go round the supermarket this afternoon, I'll be looking for other interesting shaped jars and containers that could be used in this way - there's so much potential here!

Oh, and before I forget ... welcome to my blog, Nagela!  I am very happy and honoured to have you as a Follower.

The importance of our knowledge

"We are educated in the things we know. We can pass on our knowledge to the rest of the world. I can be a lecturer even though I have not been to school."
Daquoo Xukuri, bushman, Botswana (quoted in We Are One - A Celebration of Tribal Peoples by Joanna Ede).

This quotation was published by Bel Mooney in her regular column for the UK Daily Mail on Saturday - and it sums up perfectly what the 'Wisdom' strand of Quilliance is all about.  What perfect timing!

Saturday 23 January 2010

A perfect rainbow

There is indeed beauty in all things ... even my kitchen sink! As the sun rises, it shines through a bottle on my windowsill and the light is split into the colours of the rainbow. I let it shine on to a piece of white paper and took this photo. Here it is for all to see ...

Friday 22 January 2010

Welcome, my friends!

Nel, Inna, Anny and Martina - I am so pleased to welcome you as my followers! Thank you all for your good wishes.

This is my first-ever blog, so I am still learning how to do it!

Inna, thank you for the tip about my Google profile - I think that I have fixed it!

Nel, j'ai ajoute un traducteur de Google sur ce blog - mais je pense qu'il ne fonctionne pas? Dis moi, s'il te plait!

Anny, you are so right about the smell of the resin when I made the paperweight. I had to wear a mask, which made it much more bearable.

Today I sold some of my quilled cards and earrings at my regular Friday market, and - better still - I had a big order from the owner of a local shop.  So I am going to be busy next week. And I can't wait to make more paperweights!  More news soon ...

Thursday 21 January 2010

Quilled paperweight

Well, this is a first for me - a paperweight containing quilling!

To make it, I created the quilled motif that you see, and then embedded it in Clear Water Casting Resin.

It's quite a simple process: you measure out the resin, add a few drops of a special catalyst, mix well and then pour a base layer of the catalysed resin into a special mould. (I used a dome-shaped one.) After 20 minutes or so, the catalyst causes the resin to start setting. The next stage is to dip the quilled motif in resin and lay it on top of the base layer which is now jelly-like in consistency. Then you mix up some more resin with the catalyst and pour it on top of the motif to fill up the mould. After about 24 hours, the resin has set solid and you can ease the paperweight out of the mould. Turn it over, and you have a lovely paperweight!

What I really love about this is the way the quilling is reflected in the domed top of the paperweight, creating multiple reflections.

I'm going to be making a whole lot more of these!

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Rheinhold Niebuhr


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