Time to get (shrinky) plastic!

Omg! This stuff is amazing.
Ok, I’ll back track a little. I’ve just got back to my craft room and decided to test out the new shrink plastic I got delivered this week.
It had instructions included and I decided to try the heat gun as it was readily available. Cutting a piece half as big again as one of my new green clay pendants I punched a hole on the top corners, and drew a couple of flowers with a permanent pen.
Heat gun test. Carefully firing up the gun the plastic shrivelled like you would think any plastic would – remember those chip packets we used to shrink in the oven – Eeek!!! whats happened to my cute little plastic – then turned it over and waved the heat gun over it, and by all manner of miracles, it unravelled and is now a cute little flat plastic with flowers on it.
The holes need to be bigger as they closed up in the shrinking, but I am going to love this!!!
The picture shows the after size. The plastic before was bigger than the green clay.



Toaster oven test. The next instruction on the list was toaster oven (I’m declining to use the normal oven for health purposes ( the frying pan in the last post is an exception, but yes, the food utensil rule still applies).
Cutting another piece around the same size and drawing squiggles on it I used the full size hole punch and put holes in the top corners. Into the oven and when it was all curled up, pulled it out and flipped it over, and back in again. Flattening out – golly this stuff is so cool, folds up like a scrunch of paper and then unfolds itself again as though its changed its mind – and looking rather neat.
The holes are useable (big hole punch definitely recommended) and the pattern actually looks better smaller.
I am so happy with this. I can see all sorts of fun stuff happening. Especially when I start adding a decent traced picture, and colour, as the colour is supposed to intensify on baking. It has been mentioned that if it curls up on itself then to place baking paper on the top to stop it sticking and I may try that next time. All in all a lovely afternoon of quick craftiness. A couple of easy things to make, prepare earlier and then bake when I have the time. Although two minutes of baking is nothing at all.
Part of the instructions also say to sand the plastic before drawing on it, maybe the spots will go the, or maybe they’re something else. I didn’t sand it either this time.







Have fun 🙂


Fabulous Fabrics

I’m now at part two of testing out the cool book I bought.
Patchwork panache as the book says, or Fabulous Fabrics as I’m saying.
This is such a great way of using up left over fabric scraps, or smaller designs that might not be used elsewhere.
The idea is to use double sided visilene to stiffen the fabrics and then ‘glue’ them together. Felt or other material is used for backing to keep it neat. A eyelet is attached for hanging purposes. I’m also going to try and add brooch backs when they arrive to make some funky brooches – a winter item, and maybe for holding those caddies together or just because.

I’m really pleased at my first attempt.
I cut a large square of red cotton, and a small flower, adding visilene to each. A hint I was given is to iron them between baking paper so the iron is not ruined and the item doesn’t stick to your ironing board. I then cut out the shape, so it was stiffened with no frayed edges, and then ironised them together.


It’s been a long time since I’ve done anything with eyelets so I had to practice with a couple to get it right. As you can see, they went wonky.


And the finished product. My first to at this sort of thing, and I found I really enjoyed it from the get go. This is a very light weight one, so I will try with denim and definitely put more of a backing on the others. Thankfully I practised on the eyelets, this one looks pretty good.


~ time lapse ~

I’ve just finished these. The mustardy yellow one was a lot bigger than I thought, oops, so I popped on some charms to add a ‘distraction’, and the blue and red denim one is just wrong.
The four on the right side I’m definitely happy with. I just now have to sit down and sort out my fabrics, and when the stamps arrive, there will be another dimension to each piece.
This is something I’d like to keep doing more of. I shall make some specially as brooches before I make the final call.


Jen 🙂

Finished pics of new pretties

For those that already follow my Facebook page this is old news. For those thats don’t, why not???
Here are the finished pictures of my newest makes, already uploaded on the website and ready to go. I will probably take them to the market this weekend, but will refresh the website Sunday evening. If you really like something, don’t wait, grab it now.
All other details and more pictures of each item are on the website.

Malachite Owl, $28


Sunshine Flowers $25



Jumpin’ Jade $22



Red seeds and squares $22



Casual Blues $18



And my favourite.
Gorgeous Garnet $30



Don’t forget to check out lots more sweet pieces on my website www.marcatodesigns.com.au

Jennifer 🙂

More marvellous makes

Now that I have updated the website and added them to my facebook page, I will share my new makes with you.  I’m pretty happy with them. I’d like to hear what you think.

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All items for sale, with more detailed pictures, on my website: www.marcatodesigns.com.au

Jen 🙂

New makes and funky buttons

A couple to new things I’ve made last night and this afternoon.

I’m not sure if the beaded link on the brown focal is too much. I’m tossing up between silver wire (good) and more ribbon (too much maybe?) and maybe even leather or twine and knotted.


I like this green one, a revamped necklace, altered slightly to account for the difference in hanging.


One I am working on. Restringing the lapis chips onto 3 strands and attaching to the spider web focal. I’ll find a neat link for the other side. It will be finished with chain or ribbon, as I’m not sure if I still have a blue to match or contrast with these beads.


And some funky buttons (mum had in her show bag from a recent conference). I am already thinking of what to use them with.


Have fun crafters 🙂

Buttons buttons and lots of beads….

Back in November I was scrounging around on eBay, not really looking for anything in particular when I came across these gorgeous painted wooden buttons. They were so cheap I just had to buy two lots. I now had 140 buttons on their way with no real idea of what I wanted to use them for. Typical of an obsessed person. Just have to have it. Just because, and well, you just love it.
They finally arrived today, or yesterday (it’s been over a week since I’ve been to the post office with all their public holidays off I just didn’t bother).
I have a few ideas, string them onto leather for a multi strand, or a couple of strands added to chain, maybe as a charm bracelet with other beads….


My lovely sister in law rang me back in mid December and asked if she were to get me beads (thanks-for-letting-us-stay-beads) what would I like?? OMG! And oh, wow, where do I start?

I reeled off a couple of things and then said to surprise me. I am happy to say as I will receive items that I may not pick up myself otherwise, unless they are in a shop I know well (not likely to happen really) Which gives me a challenge to make something, different. The pile of goodies that arrived was amazing. Lots of bright colours, and some beautiful bead caps that I have always wanted to use but never got around to buying or even looking for. Check out the flowers, top left.

There was one small catch. Well, it’s not a catch really. She had picked out some flat shell hearts and I am to make her a long tie back style of necklace. Simple. Restring the beads and attach ribbon.





Having family to stay meant I had to find more room. In the end, there was only my craft room. Tables were moved, boxes stacked in the corner and now the room looks so good I don’t want to put the tables back. I will, but differently. This gives me the much needed kick to get everything sorted and organised. Organise being the word.



I’ll keep you posted on the results.

Jennifer 🙂

Some new ideas…

While wandering the halls of Deloraine, well, sheds actually. I noticed something. All the jewellery stalls I saw, were selling the same sorts of things. Same stuff different stall kind of thing. All in styles that are very on trend at the moment.
Chunky resin, ceramic/porcelain pendants, glass, polymer in balls (literally, little balls of polymer on chains) or wooden pendants painted and strung on chain. That type of thing. All very much the same. Not boring, but almost. I wanted to see something different. These things I think are the reason I have not been accepted to the new market coming up. My pieces are not ‘on trend’. (love the day my style becomes on trend!)

Now I’m not going to change who I am or what I make, these things will drift off and other things will be popular. But it gave me an epiphany which I am going to work on.
Sure, I’ll still do my glass pendants, and my Wraptures, but I’m going to work on asymmetrical necklaces. Off centre, not equal on each side… That sort of thing. I’ve noticed that while brilliant, they are not so popular and yet I still see people wearing them.


I’ve googled and checked out what seems to be happening, they are everywhere – like a lot of jewellery styles – and can be made in many different ways.
I want to make more of my long feminine necklaces – like the one up there ^^ – with different flowers, and maybe even glass, or clay as the focal on the side. And also those that use fibre tie backs with a small amount of focal beads at the front.
I have lots of ideas already and have just under 3 days til the first summer market at Woodbridge starts, so I had better get a wriggle on.

I can still have fun making things that are different, but looking at the stalls in Deloraine, you could see a piece of the person in each piece. Know the artist by the look and style of each piece.
I don’t think you can do that with mine. There is too much difference. I’ll my mark my way.

And I would really really love to go to Deloraine next year.
There is something else major happening though that may get in the way, and which is prioritised first. (not telling, but you’ll know when the time is right, I promise)

Have a great day/night 🙂

Just hanging around

In my post the other day that involved a hanging mannequin with only a shirt on, to take some pictures of my jewellery, I got to thinking, and after a few more thoughts took some of my bags round today and dressed her up again.
While I had to peg the straps (most of them are quite long) the bags hung nicely and looked really good. A much better show (of how they look being used) than photographed flat and I can still do most of my close ups at home if I want – or better still, do them while the bag is out on the model.
Mum has taken all the sheets we used as backdrop so I have to wait a week to do more – or just take my own and pin it up.
Here are the bags hanging…







And some close up shots of details….





Have a great day, from the Bag Lady 🙂

Flowers in Pink Clouds

My flowers are getting a new home.  On the canvas and not a bag or necklace like I was originally thinking.  I now know how to make them, so I can now make as many as I like any time I want.

I chose to make the background solid colour and not splatters from the other day.  On the mention of that one, I will decide if I add more colours or another form of texture.

My round sponges will add enough texture and shapes without taking away from the flowers where as a flat painted background may be too flat.
I  started with a dark base of lightened purple, and then white over the top to lighten it a bit more.

Then I added orange and yellow, followed by a deep red and topped off with pink and white.

The purple on the border was feeling a little harsh, too dark, so I dabbed over it with a pink white and I am now happy with the result.
I’m not exactly sure of what I was hoping to achieve with all the colours, when I could have just done red and pink with a super light violet , but I think maybe it gives it all a deeper colour and some depth.
It is very bright, but it is meant to be.

Once all the colours were dry I attached the flowers by sewing through from the bottom and securing with several knots.
The edges are loose and the centre only attached.

Very pretty. And Pink!

it is much brighter in the flesh, but this is not too bad.


Keep smiling 🙂

Funky fabric flowers and bags

The other day I received lots of goodies in the mail, and while I said I was going to play, I did, just with other stuff. All the beads are still on the table. I didn’t put them away either.
I played with my fabric flowers instead.

Earlier this year a friend sent me some flowers she had made herself. Just because. They are gorgeous, and pretty in pinks and reds, all floral. But they needed a little blinging up. They sat in my sewing drawer until I knew just what to do.
Then, it hit me. I had finished my first evening bag … Enter pictures please.



(oops, they’re sideways, sorry) And I now knew exactly what to do with them.
So I blinged them up with a bit of ribbon and some beads and buttons.


Now my only problem is, should I make a feminine necklace with chain and pearls, a bib necklace with 3 or more of them, a couple of evening bags, or one with a full flower garden on it…??

Below is a mini tutorial of how I finished the flowers.

First, gather supplies. Flowers, thread, ribbon…


Then pin the ribbon in loops. As neatly as possible, but they move, and it doesn’t matter that it’s not perfect. They’re a fun thing.


Next, making sure you knot the thread underneath, make small stitches to secure the loops. Only one or two per loop is needed, as the buttons and beads will be more than enough to secure it later.


Decide on what will be the centre of your flower and sew it on. If needed add more beads so the centre is fully covered and you can’t see the ends of the loops. It should look something like this.

Or this…


When you are adding the centre piece make sure you knot the thread regularly underneath to keep it tight and secure.


My last flower got the royal treatment as I had run out of ribbon so it as beads all the way. A flower button formed my centre and then I beaded extra petals around it.


Any help in my decision is welcome, I do have all those other fabric flowers I bought, so plenty of flowers for plenty of ideas.

Keep smiling 🙂