"The Cream Puff"

"The Cream Puff"
"The Cream Puff" was shown by request @ Liberty Art Gallery, Long Beach Ca. April '12

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Moonlight FantaSeas - ZnetShows Key Chain Lightning Round

"Some men See things as they are and say "Why?". Others Dream of things that never were and say "Why not?" 
 - George Bernard Shaw 
    ZnetShows has challenged me to a lightning round. I picked out 2 Tiaria Crystal items from their vast collection, and I was sent 3 silver plated key chain clasps.  
    I picked out these awesome giant star-burst shaped crystals.
    If you recall, these are the same crystals I picked out for my partner Hope Smitherman, in ZnetShows Summer Challenge and Giveaway. I just couldn't resist. They're just too cool.
    I also picked out these coin shaped crystals with a star-burst etched into the side.
    The larger star-burst shaped beads are mainly green. The smaller star-burst etched coin shaped beads are mainly purple. In bright light the pieces all seem mainly purple. Yet, they both dance, with a dazzling array of watery blues, vibrant greens, and mystical violet purples that enchant the soul.

"Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has Genius, Power, and Magic in it." 

I added a few goodies from my collection. 

     The Amethyst nugget beads that Hope picked out for me from ZnetShows for the Summer Partner Challenge. I still hadn't used them. They matched perfectly with the colors of the crystals.
    Fresh water pearls with a brilliant peacock luster. A few larger Baroque Pearls. and a few diamond granule finished glass beads with cut circles and an iridescent rainbow finish. 

    Two gorgeous hand-carded wool batts from Crochet by KA. One titled "Purple Peacock" , and the other "Moonlight Beach". The latter deserves credit as part inspiration for the title of this collection. 
    Hand dyed Coopworth locks in marine blue from Froggy Fibers.
    Hand dyed Wensleydale locks in a wine country palette by Herman Hills Farm

    When I first began this blog, it was with the intention of sharing my textile experiments. Though I've just realized I've yet to post anything fibery. I hope my current followers will enjoy a change of pace as we mix things up a little bit with some felting fun today.

   My package of goodies from ZnetShows, arrived on a Friday evening and I immediately got to work.
     A quick photo shoot and we're off.......   

     I hand spun some cool funky art yarn with lots loose curly locks for texture, and Angelina fiber for bling, and a beading wire core for extra strength. 

  I enameled some pre-cut stainless steel donuts on my torch. First I hammered them out to give them a little bit of an irregular shape.
    I layered many different shades of blues, greens, and lavenders and then over-fired them. What happens when the enamel is over-fired is, the glass starts to boil and the under layers bubble up through. It does leave some charred and darkened spots, so this isn't the technique to use if you want perfect enamel. I happened to like the character that irregularity gives each individual piece. No two will ever be the same.
    Then I dipped them in "Pixie Dust" and fired one last time to achieve this awesome shimmering iridescence.
    The perfect fairy finish!                                           
    Now this is a key chain challenge, but I really am an out-of-the-box kinda girl, and well, frankly a key chain sounds kinda boring to me. So, what else can I do with these clasps .....hmmm....

    First off, I was struck by the incredible brilliance and elegance of the crystals. So I started out with a simple pair of chandelier earrings.
    A pair of balled headpins were twisted into parlor hook style ear wires. They are shorties so clear rubber stoppers have been added to the backs.
    A large pewter colored Baroque pearl with a  peacock luster, a star-burst etched coin bead, and a large star-burst shaped crystal, all dangle, with my signature fiber wrap for a bit of texture.
                      Simple and Elegant!

    Next, I decided to make a bracelet to match and use one of my key chain clasps as the closure. I dressed up the clasp with some sari silk wrap. The hinge no longer spins freely but it does still have some movement to allow for a comfortable fit.
    A large star-burst crystal as the centerpiece. Flanked by a pair of star-burst etched coins, a pair of Amethyst nuggets, and a pair of diamond finish glass rounds. All spaced by iridescent luster gunmetal pearls.
    Closes with the sari silk wrapped key chain clasp, and large silver jump ring. Finished with a Baroque pearl and Czech glass crystal dangles.
    Can't forget a little fibery bling, with a metallic eyelash yarn wrap to dress it up.

    Now I'm thinking outside the box. Let's really get creative..........................Fanny Pack!

    Here's where the wool comes in. I make fabric, from scratch, using wool locks, dish soap and water.
    The wool fibers are barbed like a fish hook, causing them to tangle and mat with agitation. The dish soap acts as a lubricant to facilitate and speed the process. Hot and cold water can also shock the fibers into tightening. This is why when you throw a wool sweater in the washing machine it comes out much smaller and thicker.
    The beauty of felting, is that I can create my fabric in any shape I would like by using a resist. It doesn't have to be flat. It can be three dimensional. It can have layers and folds. The possibilities are endless.
    What this means is, I can make a purse, with a front and back, with sealed seems on each side and the bottom, and a flap closure, all in one complete piece, eliminating any need for sewing. No raw edges to worry about. No need for any lining.

              I Can sew!

    I took my first sewing class and made my first dress at age 7. I studied fashion deign at UCLA. I can even draft my own patterns, but I tend to work, "cut and paste" style without them. Even making ball gowns in this manner.
    I think sewing, however,  requires a precision that I don't have the patience for these days. I find that felting allows me much more freestyle work, and is also much more forgiving to errors, as it can be changed and re-manipulated. When something doesn't work out as planned, I can do something else with it.

    I started by felting two long cords for the belt with lots of loose locky texture and plenty of bling.
    I made the belt in two parts to insert the pouch in the middle.
    I attached each cord to one of the enameled donuts, and used some of the  hand spun art yarn with a wire core to connect the two donuts. Then I wired up lots of sparkly dangles to hang in the space between the belt and the bag.
    The ends of the belt are finished with  dangling beaded tassels of Pearls and crystal and Amethyst nuggets as well.
    I then used the two remaining key chain clasps with a little bit of sari silk wrap, to attach the pack to the belt.
    The pack is removable. The belt can be worn with or with out the pack.
    The belt is a little over nine feet long it can be wrapped multiple times in multiple ways, or worn with long dangling tassels.
    The pocket itself, is seven inches wide and eight inches tall. It has been completely beadazzled with pearls and crystals.

    The color combo inspired a Mer-Fairy theme. Who doesn't love to delve into the fantasy world from time to time. though, I'm probably guilty of indulging a little more often than most. 

Mer Fairy - 
Deep below in unexplored regions of the ocean you may happen upon a beautiful creature, half mermaid, and half fairy. She is very difficult to spot because with her delicate wings and powerful tail she can move out of sight in an instant. Here we have a glimpse of this mysterious beauty relaxing and playing with her companions the seahorses who themselves are equipped with fairy wings.    - Josephine Wall
Any one of these fair maidens would look absolutely stunning, beadazzled in my fancy festival Mer-Fairy Fanny pack.

     I took the most interesting of the enameled donuts and used it as the centerpiece for the necklace. This particular donut had a crater that opened up in the enamel as I over-fired it. I love the effect it left as the pixie dust settled into the hole. Like looking through a portal into deep space. 
    I hung one of the etched star-burst coin crystals in the center of the donut, and hung the enameled donut from a silver jump ring. 
    I then hung it on the remaining piece of the textured hand spun art yarn, and wired it up with an array of Amethyst and and Pearls. 
    I didn't have any more of the ZnetShows key chain clasps to use or I would have finished the necklace off with another one of those. I dug out the most similar clasp I could find in my stash, and I finished the silver jump ring with a Baroque Pearl and a Czech glass crystal dangles to match the clasp on the bracelet. 

   I used the last two enamel donuts to make a matching set of earrings. I centered an etched star-burst crystal in each enameled donut,  hung them from silver jump rings, and embellished the ear-wires with a sari silk wrap and small fresh water pearls. 

Can't forget the hands.              I can never resist putting a little bling on those fingers. The bands are hammered 16 gauge galvanized steel wire. 
    The two larger crystal rings were made as a tension setting and then reinforced with a wire wrap. The tension settings required a rather wide stance. On the etched star-burst coin shaped ring, it left a cavity on the underside, so I got creative and decorated the empty space as well, with some small fresh water pearls, for a very unique look. 

   Of course all my rings are finished with my signature fiber wrap detail. It just wouldn't be perfect with out some awesome texture and a proper Pyxee dust finish. 

Spell to become a Mermaid

1 conch shell (In which you can hear the ocean in.) 
1 Bucket of sea water. 
2 Dead star fish 
2 Witnesses 
Now wait until the next full moon. 
Go outside on your lawn. Lay the 2 dead star fish on both sides of you. Have your witnesses, sit in front of you. Put the Conch shell to your ear. Keep you left index finger in the bucket of sea water and recite this spell. 
Complete and utter integrity, 

I am clean and full of innocence. 
I do understand the consequences. 
All the barnacles, and all the beasts. 
I know the immense heat. 
But I wish to be one with the sea. 
I will live to 3 hundred. 
I will then become just sea foam. 
For I have given my soul to the depths. 
I am prone to the fishers nets. 
I wish to be one of the sea. 
Grant this wish, I wish I plead. 
Let the sea come to me."

After this dunk the sea water onto the lawn. 
Bury the dead starfishes in the yard. 
Take the conch shell and place it on your dresser. 
Do not let your witnesses tell anybody, or else this will not work. 
In exactly 3 days your legs should feel painful, and they should start to itch, soon you will notice scales on your legs. 
Immediatly go to a place where the is salt water. 
You chest should burn and it'll be hard to breath, you'll go into a deep sleep, when you wake up you'll have your tail. 
And you'll have become a mermaid. 
What color your tail will be, I don't know. 

Dive into the inspirational realm of water, and discover the healing powers of mermaids, magic and the marine environment with Lucy Cavendish and Serene Conneeley's "Mermaid Magic".     
Connect with the energy of the ocean and the healing power of water

I just discovered that there is actually a Fae Magazine. I don't know how I've missed this.....

   Please click on any of the mer-fairy photos for links to the incredibly talented artists who created them.

    Thanks for sharing the adventures.
                          Have a mer-magical day!              
                                               -  * PyxeeStyx *


  1. Wow. You went ALL OUT on this challenge!! So many amazingly-created pieces. I like how you used the clasps as more than just keychains! And, that's got to be one of the coolest fanny-packs I've ever seen. Awesome, awesome job!

  2. You are very creative person Kelly...you even made your first dress at age 7!! Amazing