Monday, November 12, 2012

Laughter is the best medicine

"The Blue Bottle" - Tiny Book Art Charm, by Kia Dallons

This was a really neat swap! - A coming together of a wonderful bunch of artists to raise money for Beads of Courage, a support program for children with cancer. We each contributed an Art Charm on the theme of laughter. ( The exact book featured in this post is the one in the auction, FYI.  )  

Goes live Nov 12, 2012  - 3:00 pm, EST!

We are also doing a "blog hop", so I will list the other artist's blogs at the end of this post, for those who would like to see what everyone else did as well. There are some seriously talented people in this group!

The inspiration for my charm is a favorite camp song about a magical blue bottle which holds the ingredients for a summer day. Do you want to read it?!    

The Blue Bottle / I have a little present here for you, inside this tiny bottle so very small and blue. / But don't you dare uncork it, or everything will get away. / Thought you might like your own summer's day. / Now she who is a-reading me, and is looking at my side, might be kind of interested at what lies inside...?  /  Holds one breath of a butterfly, one ray from the sun... / ...and lots and lots of laughter from little children's fun! / But don't you dare uncork it, or everything will get away. Thought you might like your own /  summer's day! / Put it on away. 

The text was done in Business Card Composer, and ported over to Photoshop for the page layout. Printed, and then free-hand illustrated with Crayola pencils. Don't laugh! I was lucky to have found the few I did. ( Where are my good colored pencils? ) I had to raid my son's art box. Thankfully, he had the colors I needed. 
Pages, before separating. Printed text, freehand illustrated with colored pencils.  

Book Construction

Each of the glueing stages was allowed to completely dry before going on to the next stage. I use tons of clothespins to hold things in place while they dry. The pages are glued back to back, using a glue stick.
Glue the pages back to back, and trim the end flaps.
Jacket: I used Aileen's Brush On Tacky Glue, both to hold it together, and to coat the exterior to give it a nice, slick, protective veneer. 

Jacket: cardboard, paper, ribbon, glue. 
Interior: Glue page flaps to jacket, cover with lovely heavy-weight paper. 
Ribbon: Glue it on, leaving a long tail.
Ribbon: Fold it back and glue it to itself. Trim the tail if it's too long.
Ribbon: Tuck tail under and glue. Add clasp! 
The clasp, and all the findings are my copper wirework. 
"The Blue Bottle" - Tiny Book Art Charm, by Kia Dallons

All the tiny bottles. Each one is different. I had fun making them, and experimenting. 
Tiny Bottles - Lampwork glass, copper wirework and cherrywood "corks", by Kia Dallons. 

Auction Site

Contributing Artist's Blogs

Denielle Hagerman  

Jennifer Cameron

Natalie McKenna 

Robin Koza  

Sunday, November 11, 2012

"Small Rituals" - Tiny Book ArtCharm

"Small Rituals" was also made for the Amulets and Talismans swap. I couldn't resist the theme, and signed up twice!
"Small Rituals" - Tiny Book ArtCharms, by Kia Dallons

The cover is made from paper bag "leather" ( crumpled grocery bag stained with watercolors ). I had a whole different idea for the interior...  a neat little box with a little magical object ( I hadn't decided what yet )  displayed in it, but after I used up all my matching paper making the parts, the boxes turned out too big for the jackets.   Change of plans...  Hand sketches, each page to represent each stage of a ritual.  It was an idea that I had kept brushing off because it felt so personal, but I guess some things have a way of manifesting themselves.

"Small Rituals" - by Kia Dallons
They read: Ground, Open, Invite, Intent, Bless, Release, Thank, Nourish.

Felted Evil Eyes

These ArtCharms were made for an Amulets and Talismans themed swap. These are my take on an "Evil Eye".

Felted Evil Eye ArtCharms, by Kia Dallons
These Evil Eye ArtCharms were made from vintage craft felt, and hand stitched to snug up around my lampwork glass "pupils".

Green / Yellow / Gold Art Charm swap

My contribution to the Green, Yellow and Gold color theme swap. The photo doesn't really show how cool these turned out. 
Green/Yellow/Gold ArtCharms, by Kia Dallons
The green wirework bezels hold epoxy-coated, celaphane wrapping paper discs. A dome of Diamond Glaze gives them depth and makes the celaphane look magically opalescent. Seed bead dangles add motion. I want to make myself a whole necklace of them!

Tigers and Leopards, Oh MY!

The theme of this swap was "Wild Thing" These are lampwork glass beads that I made to resemble tiger and leopard markings.  Didn't Alex had fun with the photo staging?!

Tiger and Leopard ArtCharms - Lampwork glass by Kia Dallons

Tiger and Leopard ArtCharms - Lampwork glass by Kia Dallons

What have you been up to all summer?

I can't believe I haven't posted since April. I suppose it marked the beginning of the summer, when *things got seriously busy*.  I also fell and messed myself up for a while, so I haven't been able to get out to the glass shop. What I did do, was finally open my ArtFire store!

Kia Dallons Studio

I'm still getting my act together, and will be listing more soon, but please check it out. I welcome any feedback, and suggestions as I'm just figuring out their system. Yes, the Tiny Books are going in next!

That said, I have done a couple more Tiny Books since I last posted. "Small Rituals" was made for a "Talismins" themed swap, and "The Blue Bottle I'll post about in full later, after that swap is complete. It is for a group that is doing a fundraiser for Beads of Courage, which also includes a "blog hop". I'm not sure what that is about, but I figure I better get on the stick, and post some stuff, eh. I also have a few misc. artsstuffs to put up too...   but really, I spent most of the summer trying my first real garden, wildcrafting, and canning, drying, picklng, and otherwise preserving everything I could gets my hands on.

I just started a new blog detailing those adventures.  : )   Not much there yet, but lots to come! If you really want to know what I've been up to, you'll have to look there!

And, with no further ado...   Arkadia Wildcraft & Kitchen

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Falling Leaves Bracelet

A couple of weeks ago I got to take a class from Dana James, and learn her "Falling Leaves" design. The class was a lot of fun, and Dana sure knows her stuff! I finally finished this up the other day.  : )
Falling Leaves Bracelet
It's all copper, hand-made by me out of .22 gage wire, with little white and cranberry colored stone beads...  I forget what they are. The chain is the same one I made for my tutorial. I expect the copper will patina to match the beads very nicely by Autumn, when I will want to wear it.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Fun with Photoshop

This is a little paste-up and layout  project that I and my husband, Alex, did for a friend who is releasing this e-book.  Here is the website, if you'd like to find out more about her book. : )


Alex, being a technically capable person, has taken to Photoshop like a duck to water. For this, I am extremely grateful, as I am somewhat tech challanged. I do however, have a background in graphic arts, and other graphics programs, so between the two of us we're having fun. I should also really credit Alex with most of the lovely photography in this blog, as well. He went from complete beginner, to shooting some of the most difficult subjects ( shiny glass beads ) almost overnight. His support has been invaluable.   : ) 

Monday, April 2, 2012

Zen Tangle Beads

This was a fun swap! 
"New .005"  - Zen Tangle Charms, by Kia Dallons

I made these by first doodling open swirls until I had covered a sheet of card stock. I used a 3/4" paper punch to cut out discs at interesting looking convergences of lines. I filled in the random shapes on each disc with "Zen Tangles".   A new .005 tech pen was in need of testing...   *grin* 

The beads are made by sandwiching and glueing four layers of card stock together. The two outer layers are the Zen Tangle disks, and the inner layers have a small channel cut through for a bead-hole. ( They are really two half moons, glued on side by side. ) Glossy Accents dimensional embellishment gives them a shiny, hard, slightly-domed finish. 

These are made from scans, because I fell in love with the originals. I think I'm going to mount them in a shadowbox. 

Friday, March 30, 2012

Koi Pond Pop-Up Book!

  "Koi Pond" Tiny Pop-Up Book by Kia Dallons

It's been months since I've been able to get out in the Glassebo! First project was to make bunch of koi fish, to embellish my Tiny Pop-Up Books. 

Koi in the rinsing trey. The pondiness amused me.
Not to mention my string of fishies. : D

Book jacket, before.  I used some of Elizabeth Dawson's lovely hand-dyed fabric, which reminded me of water, and applied it to cardboard with Aleene's Tacky Glue. When dried, it has a nice glossy, wet look to it. 

Lilly pad progression. I drew the initial pad,  scanned and printed out a sheet of them.  Then I used Caran d'Ache Neocolor II  water-soluble crayons to fill each one in, and coated with clear, spray-on epoxy. 

Lotus progression. I used the template from Robert Sabuda's collection. Printed on typing paper for the translucent quality,  and clear coated, after adding color. 

And that's how it was done.  : ) 

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Tutorial: Needle Felted Bead with Craft Felt

Tutorial: Needle Felted Bead with Craft Felt, by Kia Dallons

"Strange Quark"  Needle felted and embroidered bead.  Craft felt, wool roving, metallic embroidery thread.

I made these for the "Celestial" theme swap.  They have a black craft felt base, with purple and blue wool roving. For this tutorial, I decided to go with red, because it would photograph more clearly.

You will need: Craft felt, wool roving, felting needle, metallic embroidery thread. 
Start with a triangle of craft felt.  This one is 1 1/4" x 8", which worked down into a 1/2 x 3/4" bead when it was done.  It doesn't have to have smooth edges, or be a perfect triangle.  Roll the felt up, as shown above. Try to keep it as centered as possible.  Next you need a felting needle.
Felting needles have tiny barbs along the shaft, which tuck the fibers together. They are sold in packs to be loaded 3 or 4 at a time into special holders, but I like to use them individually for detail work. They are very sharp! Be careful not to poke yourself!
Starting just below the tail of your wrap, push the needle part way into the bead to secure the felt. Repeat every 1/4" or so around the center of the bead until you tack down the "tail" last. Avoid pushing all the way through, and directly  through the very center, as you don't want to close your hole.
It should look somewhat like this when you are ready for the next step.
From the end. You can see the felt is tightly rolled.
Work one end of the bead at a time. I already tacked down one end of this one. As you can see, the felt pushes out more to the side you are not working on. This will correct itself when you do the other side, but don't let it get too far out of whack. 
How to work down the end: Starting at the edge of the inner most wrap and working around the spiral toward the hole,  gently tack just the edges down. Point your needle at an angle towards the middle. You will need to repeat this a number of times, so don't try to work it all down in the first pass.
You can see the first round is getting narrower.

Eventually, you will end up with a little rim around the hole. The first side that was tacked down is now getting pushed out a bit. The needle marks the center. By this time, you should not be able to see the edges of the wrap very much, as they get blended in and tucked down. 
Viewed from the end. Next, define the holes. Open the hole up a bit, and spread the edges out. You will need to occasionally ream out the hole with the felting needle while you are working, to keep it clear. 

Working at an angle, and close to the surface of the bead, tack the edges away from the hole. 
Now define the hole even more, by working from the inside towards the outside. Work it down until the edges are no longer visible. 
It should look like this. 
Now, jab the bead all over with the needle. Repeat until the surface is uniform, and you like the shape. If you want, you can call it done at this point, or add other embellishments, but if you are planning to add roving, don't worry about making the bead look finished at this point. 
This is wool roving bought from a craft store. It comes in a small package, and unfolds. Another great place to find roving is your local yarn store. You only need a small amount, like the small tufts shown in the foreground of the photo. Also shown is the package/box of felting needles.
Roll the roving a bit between your palms to get it to make a loose rope.  Wrap around the bead. I like to start at the hole, so that it's easy to keep track of where it is, but it's up to you.
Tack it down. I'm using a multi-needle holding tool for this. It's not necessary, just faster. 
You can make bends and swirls by tacking a spot and then wrapping a different direction.

Once you are happy with the design, go over it again with the needles and get everything pretty well stuck on there.

Pretty hairy! 
Next, I added a layer of red roving over the black, and tacked it down.

Ready to jab a million times. Once the roving is pretty well on, I switch back to the single needle for better control. 
Keep on jabbing! Remember to keep the hole open.
Eventually it will become very firm, as all the fibers get tucked down. I could have kept going, making it smaller and less fuzzy, but I liked it like this.
From the end. 
I added some metallic embroidery ( which is hard to see in the pic ), and put it on a head pin with some beads.  Finis!