Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Mixed-Media Mania!

My recent fascination (bordering on obscession) with mixed-media charms has not let up! Last week, I happened to stop into A. C. Moore to check out their bead collection, when I came across this book. I looked through it quickly, but I'd already been through the check-out, and it contains many of the techniques and materials I already know about and use for charms, like polymer clay and shrink film. But I wanted a closer look at the book, I wanted to take more time with it. I couldn't get it through the library, so I went back to A.C. Moore Sunday evening with my 40% off coupon and now it's MINE!!!! Of course, I was pretty content with the charms and bracelets I've been coming up with on my own. Here's one, below, similar to the one I posted here, except with silver-tone metal instead of copper. I like the number and variety of charms and the way they're all related in theme and color, but I found myself leaning towards the more unique ones, the ones you can't just buy at any craft store and hook onto a chain.
And that's exactly what the book covers. As you can see here, it has an opening chapter on some basics ("Charm School") and then a full chapter on each different media, including paper, fabric, glass, plastic, and found objects. I couldn't wait to try them all!
One of the first ones I decided to attempt last night was making these wool "sputnik" charms. I've done a little hand needle felting with wool, but this describes wet felting with hot water and a bar of soap, so I thought I'd give it a try. It didn't sound too complicated.
I dug out some wool roving I had in my chosen color (what else but aqua?) and saw I had two different types of roving. One looked nice and smooth, all combed out and straight, but the other one was still kind of curly, a little tangled and in smaller pieces. I was hoping to get a swirled effect, so I wanted to incorporate the variety of aqua shades in both types of wool. Unfortunately, I should've combed them together more thoroughly, because they didn't incorporate together very well!

These are the three little misshapen balls I ended up with! Pretty funny, huh?

Another drawback to getting involved with a book like this and wanting to try everything all at once is the resulting mess! Look at my worktable!
Even the chair I usually sit in is draped with t-shirts I wanted to embellish over the summer, and new fabrics I picked up to make more coasters. Ugh!
I think the idea is to make many of one type of charm - spend a few days or a week just using the polymer clay, then move to paper, then to fabric, then to wood, then put the bracelets together. I think my next move is going to be cleaning everything up and selecting one medium to focus on for a time. I'll let you know how that goes...

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