Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Create shoes...recklessly!

As some of you know, one of the very first things I made with leather was a shoe. One silver high-heeled, wearable shoe with Swarovski crystal inlays. But, alas, I only made one.

But that's about to change! While I won't be making another one of these fancy ladies, I am set on making a pair of embellished tennis shoes. I recently stumbled upon this Kickstarter campaign and I couldn't resist. I exchanged emails with the founders of the ONEDAY Sneaker Kit and they made a new fan.

Why not join me? Consider backing their Kickstarter campaign and lets make some shoes together! Many of the techniques in Beautiful Leather Jewelry will work for the shoes and the Create Recklessly with leather toolkit and hardware would add beautiful embellishments.


Isn't it fun to live in a world where we can support and play with artists in the Netherlands with just a click of a button?

Have a great week!


Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Don't discard those oyster forks yet!

Okay, so we had some fun this April Fools and if you are a blog subscriber you received our "ad" in your email. But now, in all seriousness on this not so serious day, we have lots of great news to share!

Today starts a new chapter of Create Recklessly. Our product line of leather tools by Beadsmith was previewed in January at the CHA show and has since been featured in Tucson, at the Craft, Stitch and Hobby Show in the UK, on JTV and is making its way into bead stores. 

Leather patchwork kits from JTV
In the coming months we will have sneak peaks at the new artists joining our team and the amazing products they are creating. Until then, we will bring you some new techniques for leatherwork and more, starting with new ways to inlay, my favorite way to create leather closures, an interview with the Director of the Leather Research Laboratory, and then we'll talk wood... because we're reckless that way.

You can also find more information about leather in the April/May issue of Step by Step Wire or just jump right ahead to Tammy Honaman's fabulous leather cuff featured project... I even saw that they have kits for her design! If you are looking to learn in person, join me at the Bead and Button Show this June or at the November Autumn Artist Retreat here in WA at the Suncadia Resort. Two of my favorite wire artists will be there...Tracy Stanley and Sarah Thompson (I will be sneaking into those classrooms)! And then, of course, you can learn in the comfort of your own home with the book Beautiful Leather Jewelry or by viewing a Craftcast class!

And on a final note, my heartfelt thanks. For joining us here. For stopping by to say hi at the shows (and for bringing me know who you are!!). For dropping me a message with a photo of what you are making. For leaving me comments just when I am sure no one wants to hear what I have to say. For sharing my excitement in the silliest of reckless things (remember the April Fools post a few years ago where I attempted to turn my flexshaft into a pottery wheel? Yep, still removing clay off the walls). For helping me realize this reckless dream! I know I'll have more to say on this later, but not on April Fools.

Create recklessly,


Monday, February 9, 2015

Snap Bezels

Polymer clay snap bezels by Melissa Cable

I am home from the Tucson launch of Create Recklessly leather tools and supplies and I couldn't be more inspired...and tired!

After a busy day unpacking and catching up with my family, I finally had some quiet time to myself. I kicked up my feet and grabbed the most recent issue of Step By Step Wire magazine, which contained a polymer clay article I contributed. Then, I drifted off to sleep for a long needed nap. I found myself dreaming of setting snaps! Afterall, I must have demonstrated how to set a snap over 100 times last week. So, it should be no surprise, that when I woke I was convinced that a snap receiver (the female part) would make a perfect bezel for polymer clay.

And sometimes inspiration happens just like that. But, could the leather survive the toaster oven? Hmmmmm... Nap done, reckless creation about to commence...

I always start with the "proof of concept" phase, where I throw something together just enough to test if it works. Luckily, it did not go up in flames (literally and figuratively), the leather did not get hard, did not curl and the color did not fade...all things I suspected might happen.

Then it was time for some real tests. I made an entire bracelet and placed 6 other leather samples in the toaster oven. I wanted to test different types of leather (chrome tanned vs. vegetable tanned) and different colors of leather in case the dyes affected the outcome. I also kept an identical piece of each leather outside the toaster oven as a control.

The results were consistent. Every piece of leather shrunk in both length and width by 5% exactly. I had hypothesized that the vegetable tanned leather would shrink more, but it too shrunk by 5%.

Of course the most important thing with this technique is to use caution. The leather can catch fire if it comes in contact with the heat coils or is baked at high temperatures. Some leathers may be treated with different coatings or dyes that could react with heat differently than the Create Recklessly leathers. Be sure to do your own testing with the leather you are using and always supervise your toaster oven.

Give it a try...and be sure to share pictures...I would love to see YOUR snap bezels...maybe with some resin, concrete or epoxy?!?!

1. Preheat the toaster oven.

2. Pierce a hole in the leather using the 3/16" hole piercer.

3. Place the eyelet through the hole from the back of the leather.

4. Place the receiver over the eyelet.

5. Use the medium eyelet setter to set the eyelet inside the snap.

6. Roll conditioned polymer clay in a pea-sized ball and press into the snap receiver, removing clay as needed.

7. Use stamps to decorate the clay. I also used a gold Sharpie for dots.

8. Bake as directed (I chose a clay that would bake at 275 degrees for 15 minutes at the thickness I was using)

9. Apply any finishing techniques to the clay as desired (buffing, sealing, etc).

I better get to work developing a project with all these leftover snap pieces!

Create recklessly,


PS - Look for our new online store at the end of this month, complete with a new store manager... former beadclub customers might recognize her!  ; )