Thursday, May 9, 2013

Frustration and Consolation...

Remember all those weeks ago when I was really excited about converting my garage to a shiny new studio...Well if things had gone according to plan this would have been the week I moved into said studio and had a wonderful time getting everything set up and organised. But things didn't go to plan...

In England internal alterations to buildings are usually done under 'permitted rights' regulations which means you have to notify the local planning department but you don't need permission...unless of course you live where I live that is! My particular development has no permitted rights covenant and therefore any and all alterations have to have full (and more costly) planning permission which of course takes a lot longer to get.

Even though there was no suggestion that I wouldn't get approval I was not a happy bunny but there was nothing I could do other than follow procedure and wait. The consultation period ended last week so a decision should be imminent but at the moment all I have is a 3D plan of what the studio 'should' look like when finished but I'm sure there will be tweaks and the perspective does make it look longer than it really is.

Whilst I've been planning the studio I've also been adding to a long list of new tools that I don't currently have room for but am itching to get my hands on and it's been unbelievably frustrating not to be able to buy any of these yet. Well, last week it all got too much and I decided it was time to treat myself to something as a little consolation for having my plans disrupted and this is it...a lovely shiny Silhouette Cameo Die Cutting machine.

If you don't know it, this high tech tool has a multitude of uses from paper crafts to sign making but it was first brought to my attention for jewellery making by the multi talented Caroline Dewison of Blueberri Beads. We were chatting about an etching course I'd just been on and the beautiful etched pieces Caroline was making when she told me she was using the Cameo to cut vinyl resists. These were giving her much crisper results than she was getting from the sometimes tricky (for me anyway) PNP (press and Peel). Well, see for yourself - she wasn't kidding...

Caroline has even written a tutorial for this process which will certainly be my starting point...thanks Caroline!

This alone would probably have been enough to convince me to buy a Cameo but it is also being used by the amazingly talented metal clay artist Wanaree Tanner to create intricate bezels and cut outs in sheets of dry metal clay with stunning effects which I can only dream of achieving.

Earrings by Wanaree Tanner
Check out Wanaree's blog for more of her amazing designs as well as information on teaching and design tools.

I'm bursting to be able to try out both these techniques but just don't have the space to do it safely at the moment so I'm going to have to start off with something a little more straight forward first - probably no bad thing considering I'm not very technically minded. I will be sending my first consignment of components off to a bricks and mortar bead shop in a few weeks and need some hanging display cards so that seems like a good place to start my learning curve - I'm sure there will be much trial and error so better with card than clay!

Hopefully in a few months I'll be able to update you on how I'm getting on but in the mean time, if you have a Cameo let us know what you're using it for and if you want to share any hints and tips - please feel free...

The Gossiping Goddess


  1. I'm really excited to see what you do with your Cameo Lesley! I'm sure there are a million things that are waiting to be discovered! Thanks so much for including my tutorial, I hope it's useful! Happy cutting :)

  2. Lesley, I'm so sorry there's been a hitch in the plans. But I'm over the top excited for you to head into new territories! I had no idea a Silhouette could do stuff like that! The bracelet bars are awesome, and I'm so blown away by those earrings. I don't have one of those, so I have no nifty tricks for you. I'll be cheering you on from the sidelines!

  3. Holy cow! That is a cool machine! I have been spinning my wheels with trying to make my dream of my own clay molds or texture plates or what have you to come to be. I need a way to make a detailed piece that I can use over and over but traditional stamp methods and molds make me feel 'meh'. I love the etched designs and that Wanaree is something special. Makes me want to find some sort of breakthrough tool or machine for myself! I can't wait to see what you do with this and I know your long awaited room will be worth it in the end! Enjoy the day. Erin

  4. Sorry about the delays on your studio. Hope it's all approved right away.
    Thanks for sharing about cutting vinyl resist with your new toy. Have a fun with it. I have a Cricut that has sat and collected dust as my enthusiasm for paper crafts has waned. Hope it works for the technique you shared. Gotta try it!


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