Category: Studio

Week 7: Making Pens

I don’t make pens very often anymore and I should. It’s such a nice little project that creates useful items. I had stopped because it was harder to find good, cheap pens that worked. They changed the formulation for the Bics that were my go-to and I was stuck experimenting with random discount brands afterwards.

I know you can buy great pen kits or even use better quality refillables for this. These were always a bulk, inexpensive project for classes or smaller shows, for me.

Anyways, I tried another dollar store brand this week with some success. I’ll probably make a few more with one of my upcoming classes so they can give some for Mother’s or Father’s Day gifts.

This is an in progress for this batch. I slice a pile of canes and then start placing the slices. After I have what I want, I smooth them in. After baking, they’ll get a little sanding and buffing. These will also get their ends painted out since I didn’t cover them with clay.

Sketchbox and Me

If you have managed to not see dozens of Sketchbox ads in the last few months online… lucky you. I spend far too much of my time on social media so I’ve seen more than my share and in the end, when asked what I would like for Christmas, I told my partner I’d like a couple months of the Sketchbox subscription box to play with.

He didn’t know me well enough when I was still doing primarily 2D artwork and, for him, this was a surprising request. He didn’t understand why I wouldn’t just go buy new supplies at the craft store and get rolling. I explained that the appeal of a subscription box was that someone else had curated the supplies, put them together, and sent them out. I could sample something completely new or not recently tried with little stress.

February is my first box and it had Inktense pencils, something I’d only seen tried on clay, a type of watercolour pencil that dries as a permanent ink wash. There’s also a couple brush tip pens that don’t bleed and a little sample of paper. The pencils and markers can be used on fabric which is what my friend Laurie (the dollmaker behind Prairie Crocus Studio) immediately tried with success but I’ve mostly just doodled. It’s been ages since I sketched outside of work drafts.

I’ve never done watercolour outside of those cute little paint books you can get kids or the little disc paint boxes, also geared for kids. It’s been fun! If I continue on I’ll invest in a little better paper and brushes again. For now, we’re good.

Week 4: Canes and Beads

Before my daughter left for university a few weeks ago she made her poor old mom a bunch of Skinner blends to use up. And, really, blends are like having the picture half done as far as canes go. I took a look through pictures of bouquets for inspiration and settled on one with lovely green mums, violet mums or dahlias, off white, green tinted roses and white daisies. I got caning.

The beads are currently tumbling right now but they were cute even heading in. The daisy cane was a little wobbly but at bead size that matters less. The green mum cane is good with nice contrast and good shape. There’s a good stack of beads in my tumblers because the To Sand pail was pretty full. That means lots of beads to work on in the coming week.