Clay Play Day! Tips for Beautiful Beads and Stamped Pendants (with and without fancy tools!)

Hi there! We have had some stunning days in Maine this week. It was so nice outside I brought my clay supplies into the back yard and made some beads and pendants for jewelry:

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Watch the video for full instruction as well as tips for making these beads and pendants with or without tools. I will also post tips below the video for your convenience. If YOU have any polymer clay tips to share please leave a comment!

Video!

Today I am using stamps from our sponsor Rubber Stamp Tapestry Use coupon code BEACH16 for 15% off any order of $10 or more through May 21, 2016

Supplies:
Polymer Clay: Sculpey 3
Ink: Versafine (any pigment ink is fine)
Stamps: Rubber Stamp Tapestry : Starfish and shells, Crab SmallCrab, Sea Turtle Mama, Compass or you can check out all of the nautical stamps they offer.
Jewelry findings: earring hooks, earring posts, headpins, eyepins, jump rings, beaded chain, clasp
Tools: pliers, oven, needle tool, potters scraper or palette knife

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Clay Tips!

  • Condition the clay by kneading it well before use, or the beads will be brittle.
  • Remove rings before working with clay so you won’t have to clean off the residue later.
  • Sculpey 3 is good for chunky beads like we made today, it is also easier to conditions BUT if you are making thinner items use Premo or Fimo as they are more durable.
  • Use an oven thermometer to make sure your oven is accurate, otherwise you might burn your clay.
  • Use a timer so you don’t over bake the clay (your smart phone has a timer on it!)
  • Use pigment ink, chalk or mica powder on raw clay and it will become permanent when you bake it.
  • Use an acrylic based sealer if you wish to seal your clay after baking. Oil based spray sealer or nail polish my make your clay sticky down the road.
  • Rough edges can be sanded and holes may be drilled after baking if desired.
  • Avoid mail ordering polymer clay in the summer as the clay can get “Truck baked” if it gets hot. Most big box craft stores sell polymer clay and it often goes on sale for 88 cents a brick. Those sales keep stock fresh and fresh clay is easier to use.
  • And the most important tip is to have fun!

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This was a lot of fun! I like to make extra beads when I have my clay out to use on future projects. I hope you try this and let me know how it turns out. If you have never used clay before you can get a pack of 30 colors of 2 oz blocks of clay at any big box craft store for about $25 (or less with a coupon) that is a great way to get started and then pick up the 4 oz block in the colors you run out of when they are on sale. If you think your friends would like to try this project feel free to share it using the handy-dandy sharing buttons below, I sure do appreciate you spreading the love! Thanks for stopping by ad til next time happy crafting!

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Clay Play! (DIY Ring Dishes)

These little dishes can sit on the window sill and keep your rings safe when you wash the dishes and they are so easy to make!

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I used supplies from the October Smart Art box. If you are looking for a gift for an artist (or yourself) you might want to give these a look. Every month you get an ample box full of supplies to try a new kind of art. I have been receiving these boxes for a few months now and they never disappoint! I have been sent other monthly art club boxes in the past but this was the only one I would allow as a sponsor because it is the only one I felt had a good value of what you get compared to what you pay. You can see past boxes on their website if you want a better idea. The boxes are a surprise, you never know what you are going to get but that is also part of the fun!

Supplies:
Polymer Clay-Super Sculpey-firm
Molding Tools

Other supplies:
Toaster oven
Craft mat or waxed paper
Acrylic paint and varnish (Liquatex paint and Minwax polycrylic)

Directions:
1. Condition clay.
2. Shape into dishes.
3. Press leaves in clay.
4. Bake at 275 F for 15 minutes. Let cool.
5. Paint and varnish.

This is a fun thoughtful gift to make. Please visit our sponsor Smart Art to learn more about their monthly  art boxes or to subscribe today! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

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.😀

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.)😀 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!

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