What YEAR is it anyway?

Hi friends! Yesterday I made a bunch of clay ornaments to use as gift tags on Christmas presents and I left all of my supplies out so my kids could make some if they wanted today. Well, my girls took one look at the ornaments and said “Mom, what does that say 2015?” To which I replied “Because that is this year.” The girls looked at each other and said “No it’s not!” I guess I am just ahead for next year! LOL!

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Luckily I only stamped the date on one ornament! Working with polymer clay is really fun. There are some pitfalls I want to help you avoid though. There are different kinds of polymer clay and they all have a purpose. I thought about making this video really short and showing only the step by step (that seems to be the popular thing to do among YouTube crafters) but I really wanted to explain a little more in-depth so you can avoid making brittle ornaments or burning your clay. Maybe it is over explaining, what do you think? You can let me know in the comments below. :D

Supplies:
polymer clay
stamps
ink (pigment-metallic looks really pretty!)
plastic wrap
rolling-pin or pasta machine
oven
needle tool, pin or straw
cookie cutter
mica powder (optional)

Directions (these are brief since I explained so much in the video):
Condition the clay be kneading or rolling through the pasta machine several times. Flatten the clay and place plastic wrap on top, cut with a cookie cutter. Remove plastic wrap and excess clay. Make a hole for the ribbon. Dust with mica powder if desired. Stamp snowflake with pigment ink. Bake according to package instructions. After cool, add ribbon for hanging.

I also wanted to give you some more info on the 2014 holiday lights contest sponsored by USA Today:

You can enter the USA TODAY contest by uploading a photo of your own holiday lights display here The winner of this photo contest gets a $5,000 gift card from USA TODAY!

It does not matter how big or small, they want to see ALL of your best holiday light displays! Don’t wait, you have until 12/10/14 to enter!

On the 12th you can vote for your favorite out of the 10 finalists! 2 voters will win $1000 and $1500 gift cards from USA Today! Voting begins here on 12/12/14

Good luck to all who enter and vote! Winner will be announced on 12/22/14

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Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

 

Easy Clay Embellishments!

Howdy folks! I hope your Monday is going well. Mine is! Remember the kitchen floor DIY job I dived into and completely botched back in May?  (If not you can read about it here.)  Well today I called in the professionals and I have a wicked sharp (pronounced “wikid shaaap” for those of you not in Maine) black and white checkered floor. It is totally 50’s diner and I love it. I’ll share a pic once I wipe down my white cabinets (which look infinitely grosser next to the new floor.) :D Just keepin’ it real folks. While the floor guys worked their magic I worked mine in my studio. i made some clay embellishments, it is totally easy, have a look. OK, in all honesty this video should only tale 30 seconds but I offer a lot of beginner tips, do’s and don’ts and what-have-yous.

Easy huh? Condition, smoosh, stamp, bake. I guess I didn’t need to make that video huh? Hey, be sure to check back tomorrow, i have a stamp set giveaway and a project using the clay embellishments. Til then happy crafting!

WOYWW: Tutorial-Cheap Flexible Molds!

Happy Wednesday folks! well, this week we have gone from 2 degrees to 50! You know what they say about the weather in Maine, if you don’t like it wait 5 minutes LOL! This week my desk is littered with clay, glass, stencils and moulds…why am I telling you this? because it is What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday (or WOYWW for short) before I show you my desk here are some molds I made from Sculpy Bake and Bend Clay, it s way cheaper than using the Ranger 2 part molding stuff, I made a video to show you how at the end of this post:

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And here is my desk, I am a skitzo crafter today, making stencils and molds…I think I like making supplies more than creating with them LOL!

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And just in case you think I don’t support the crafting economy check out my yummy new glass I just ordered from Devardi glass. I sorted it in a bill organizer I picked up a few years ago at goodwill for $2. It is perfect for the glass rods. I hope to try out this glass later today, since my toaster oven is out for clay anyway I think I will use it as a rod warmer (don’t worry, I won’t burn my hands off!) since the Devardi glass (which is dirt cheap BTW) might be a little shocky so I want to bring it up to temp before I put it in the flame, my studio is really cold so thermal shock might happen…I’ll let you know how it all turns out :)

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And now my super cheap flexible mold tutorial. I used Bake and Bend clay which I bought on sale for $5 a pack of six 1 oz bricks but regular prices is $7 so still way cheaper than the two-part epoxy mold maker. What I really love is that it does not cure till you heat it so there is no waste. With the 2 part stuff you have to use it or lose it! You can even press the clay to textured surfaces and make rubber stamps!

I thought of another tip when working with clay: Remove your nail polish first because the clay will make it all freaky and gross:) Oh and the scrap clay rigid mold tutorial (which is like making them for free-love that!) is here.  Well, that’s it! I am going to brew a pot of coffee and head over to the Stamping Ground and check out other WOYWW crafty desks, won’t you join me? Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Glitter it {Just a Little Bit!}

Woohoo, It’s Friday and I’m playing with glitter!!! update on my coffeepot situation-the coffee maker is still not working BUT I rooted around in my basement last night and found my old espresso machine and I must say after 4 shots of hazelnut espresso I am feeling pretty optimistic! That, and I get to have lunch with 4 of my favorite people today, it’s gonna be a good one! Oh, yes back to the glitter, check out the glitteriffic glaze I made:

The glitter I used and the pots I put the paint in are from Papermart. The glitter is super fine and only .99 cents a tube! Look at the glittery goodness!

It is so simple! Here is a video showing how I made the paint as well as many other ideas on using glitter. I will warn you I am a bit giddy here, there might be some singing….If loving glitter is crazy I don’t wanna be sane!

So, do you want to play with glitter now? Here are the glittered cards from the video. It is nice to be able to do the glitter sheet technique without the adhesive sheet. I had a thought after doing the video that you could also use spray adhesive (aerosol spray glue) over the colored panel and glitter and not need the embossing powder, even better!

Well that’s it for today, I have Thai food in my future then it is off the set up games for the Halloween party at the school, the PTG put me in charge of games this year and I was a bit nervous but I think I have it under control…false sence of confidence? Yep, the caffeine is doing its job LOL! Have a great weekend and til next time happy crafting!

Happy Labor Day!

Howdy folks! It’s labor day in the US and for many of us it means a day of from work and school. If you happen to had a day off today I hope you enjoy it! It is looking like we might get rain in Maine but we will enjoy the day never the less. Since this is the unofficial last day of summer here (the day all of the tourists go home :( ) I thought I would use a stamp set I bought at the stamp show I went to in June, it is by Just Rite Stamps and it really homey to me:

 

I did not have the dies that went with this stamp so I cut it by hand…I’m not jumping on the “buy the dies to match the stamp” bandwagon. With the amount of stamps I have it would be a slow road to insanity or bankrupcy LOL! And it did not take me long to cut it out either:)

 

I hope you like the background on this card. I am working on a background techniques video that I will share with you later this week. I got a chance to play in my studio yesterday and make a bunch of card backgrounds, it was fun and productive! Also I wanted to share me “free” embellishments! I used sea glass picked up from the beach on this card!

 

The sand dollar embellishment was made from ecru polymer clay, I used a rubber stamp of a sand dollar to press in flattened balls of clay, baked it then dry brushed white acrylic paint over it when it was done. I made a ton of these a few years ago and lucky for me I knew right were they were when I made this card!

 

That’s all for today! Enjoy the day off (if you have it off) and til next time happy crafting!

A Geisha Paper Doll& Oriental Screen!

So, when I first saw the challenge at OrientalStampArt to create a folding screen card the first thing that popped into may head was making a dressing screen for my Daughters’ “Barbie Dream House” but since my girls never play with their Barbies I made this instead:

I cut the screen out with my die cutter using SCAL software using my versatile Gothic Arch SVG set (it has printable templates too if you don’t own a die cutter) and it was easy as pie to put together. The stunning rubber stamps I used are by About Art Accents and I got really clear crisp impressions by using the curved rock-a-block stamp mounts and stamping on a squishy mat. I stamped the geisha 3 times; on cream, green and purple washi paper then cut out the parts and assembled the green and purple papers over the cream to make a sturdy paper doll.

I wanted to be able to mail this card eventually so I made a belly band to keep it closed.

I can even fold up the doll if I like by unhooking the back of the stand. There are slits on the cardstock strip to hold it together so it will stand.

I employed some fun techniques with this project. Here, me share my tricks with you :D

I made these buttons out of clay out of moulds I made from vintage buttons (full tutorial on this post):

For a super quick crinkled ribbon I sprayed purple and pearl ink on a piece of seam binding (it is cheaper to buy a 100 yard roll of seam binding and dye it as you need it and it is always just the color you want!) scrunching it up and blasting it with a heat tool, the heat shrinks the rayon and sets the wrinkles. Just be careful not to heat it too close or one spot too long or it will scorch!

These leaf embellishments were made by breaking up bits of Friendly Plastic (AMACO) into a silicone mould and heating it with the heat gun. I am actually using a pretty silicone fondant mould made by Wilton. Be aware that many of the clay moulds out there are not silicone and you might melt them with this technique! I have been playing with Friendly Plastic a lot lately, look for a tutorial coming up soon!

 

I don’t know why I didn’t think of making paper dolls with my geisha stamps before, they are such beautiful designs. I hope you have some time to get crafty this weekend, til next time happy crafting!

Faux Dichro…well, an attempt at it anyway;D

A few years ago before I got a bead kiln I wanted to capture the look of dichroic glass with polymer clay…I did not quite get it but I liked the result. It is a quick and easy technique that you can play with this weekend!

You will need polymer clay and metal leaf. Metal leaf comes in books of 25 (or more) and can be made from aluminum, silver, copper, gold, nickel and other metals. It is usually used for illuminating books (fancy old Bibles) or gilding frames. You can get books of copper, aluminum and fake gold for about $5/25 5″x5″ sheets. Gold and copper tones look nice with warm rich colors an silvers look nice with cool colors. For instance I used a cool red with silver (er, aluminum) leaf. Every color can have a warm or a cool undertone, yellow is a warm color but lemon yellow has cool (green) undertones while marigold yellow had warm (orange) undertones.

Here’s how to make your foiled beads:

  1. Condition your clay and roll it out into a 1/4″ slab.
  2. Lay a sheet of metal leaf on top then roll over it again until the leaf starts to crackle.
  3. Cut into squares, rectangles or long tapered triangles that you can roll up int “croissant” shaped beads. You can also put the small squares of foiled clay in a bead roller for cool round, oval and bicone beads!
  4. Poke bead holes with a needle.
  5. Bake according to clay package directions.
  6. Glaze! I pressed my beads on an embossing ink pad, dipped them in UTEE and heated hem with my heat gun for a thick glazed look. You can also paint them with nail polish *Edit: see Silverleaf’s comment on the use of nail polish on polymer clay in the comments section. Thanks Silverleaf for the heads up! or use the tried and true FFW (Future Floor Wax, it is in the cleaning supply aisle and it is under the brand name Pledge, this stuff is like acrylic varnish and very durable!)

One more thing I want to mention. I also tried coating the beads with Translucent Liquid Sculpey (TLS-a product that completely mystified me as I have never found it useful except to help condition old clay and it is constantly leaking and making a mess of my clay drawer…anyway…) thinking I could get a thick semi transparent coating and it did not work for me. I think if I had baked the beads once then added the TLS and rebaked it might have. I’m no clay expert, obviously :D

Go ahead and play with clay this weekend, you might just discover a new technique when you are trying to do something else. Enjoy the process and til next time happy crafting!

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