Apr 212017
 

ff tila bead ring band

I never really thought much about stretch rings until I bought one at a local fashion clothing store and found it so comfortable that I absolutely loved it and wore it all the time.

In fact I wore it out! When the elastic used in the purchased ring broke I noticed that the way it was strung together was with metal sections that had two holes or channels running through them. This gave me the idea of using two hole beads to make my own custom ring bands.

In today’s video I will show you how I took a polymer cabochon and with the help of a few Tila beads turned it into a gorgeous statement ring.

tila band cabochon ring

I would recommend using a strong glue such as two-part epoxy for this process. If you find that the glue dries with sharp edges on the inside of the ring after it’s cured, you can gently file those down to make them smoother.

Tools and Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the How To Make a Ring Band Using Tile/Tila Beads-Friday Findings Jewelry Tutorial at YouTube.

Apr 192017
 

2017 pcfc #6 savina 8 cover

When I first started this, the sixth of the polymer clay figure sculptures I challenged myself to make in 2017, I planned to make her patterned after the final of the neighborhood kids in Maureen Carlson’s book How to Make Clay Characters. But I was getting a bit bored and decided to make my girl steampunk style.

2017 pcfc #6 savina 1

As with all of the neighborhood kids projects, I started with the shoes, or in this case, the boots. I don’t know why but I’ve found I really love adding all the details to the footwear.

2017 pcfc #6 savina 2

Once I got the boots done I realized that my proportions were going to be different from the figure in Maureen’s book. After studying rules of body proportions I proceeded to make her legs, and then added her skirt and petticoats.

From the base of the box to the top of her hat Savina is 7 inches tall. If she were to stand up, she’d be about 10 inches tall.

The petticoat ruffles are strips of white clay that were cut on one edge with a wavy blade. I used a dotting tool to make them look more like lace.

2017 pcfc #6 savina 3

Although I love the color and the pearly shimmer of the skirt, every time I look at it I wish I had added some texture. Something to remember next time, texture everything!

2017 pcfc #6 savina 5

My decades as a seamstress came in handy when planning, drafting and fitting her “leather” corset.

Those puffy white sleeves were the trickiest part of the entire project. Try to picture how you would texture the clay, gather and shape it to look like a puffy sleeve and then press it into place on the figure without smashing any of the texture or gathers or shape!

2017 pcfc #6 savina 7

It was at this point I realized that my figure was large enough that I should have started off with an armature as a base. The neighborhood kids are small enough that they don’t require an armature except perhaps a couple toothpicks on the inside for supports. This little girl would’ve been a lot easier if I had made her body first and then fitted the clothes. Instead I found myself doing it rather backwards, having to sculpt and smooth the skin of her neck around the neckline of her blouse rather than just draping the blouse over her body.

2017 pcfc #6 savina 4

I did save myself some of the difficulty of sculpting hands by deciding that she was going to wear leather gloves, really LONG leather gloves. 😀

I was thrilled that the “suede” strips twisted up and around the gloves came out looking like real suede.

When it came time to do the face I decided that the simplistic faces from the neighborhood kids really wouldn’t suit the style of this project and so I moved on to Maureen’s next tutorial in the book and based my face on the more realistic faces that she taught. I’m fairly pleased with how the face came out, although, even after removing a lot of clay the nose is still three times larger than I wanted it to be. There’s always next time!

2017 pcfc #6 savina 8

Instead of making clay hair I decided to use some alpaca wool I had bought a while ago for doll making. The nice thing about this wool is that it’s very fine so the scale is good for dolls. Also, it can be styled similarly to human hair. I used mousse and a curling iron. I’m not much of a hair stylist but it came out okay.

2017 pcfc #6 savina 6

Making the top hat was a lot of fun. It was a bit of a challenge to get the shape just right, but once I figured it out I had a blast decorating it with all kinds of bits and pieces from my stash. You might notice, especially if you read the title of this post, that there is not a single gear in sight. Even without the gears it’s apparent that she’s a steampunk girl, which goes to show you that steampunk is about more than just gears. 🙂

This figure is so large and so complicated that she is going to have to suffice for #’s 6, 7 and 8 as I just don’t have time and need to move on to other projects which are more of my bread-and-butter. Priorities, you know!

So yeah, only one figure for March and one figure for April. I’m a little disappointed in that, but not going to stress about it. Instead I am going to move on to my next project with which is creating another class for you guys to enjoy. I’m excited about this project and hope you’ll love it once I get it done.

I’m also working on an email newsletter to better keep you informed on what’s going on with all my classes, videos, projects and such. More on that soon. So, yeah, busy, busy!

In the meantime, happy creating!

Watch the Savina-Steampunk, No Gears-2017 Polymer Clay Figure Challenge #6 video at YouTube.

Apr 182017
 

dogwood necklace cover

I named today’s project after the dogwood tree that will be blooming soon in my yard. Every year in early May I so enjoy its beautiful pink and white blossoms. These pink ceramic beads, white crystal and crackled beads and the white enameled metal focal all bring to mind the springtime beauty of the dogwood.

long necklace

This necklace design began with a photo I found online. My apologies, but I cannot find the original source. It appears to be from a catalog, and not a jewelry designer, though. If you recognize it, please let me know so I can give proper credit.

dogwood necklace long

I was intrigued by the way the largest beads are not at the usual center front position. My version is a little bit more asymmetrical than the inspiration piece. Even if I did have two of those white metal flowers, I’m not sure that I would have used them both. The almost perfectly balanced design is more interesting, I think, than complete symmetry.

This piece goes together quickly, especially if you use the One Step Looper tool. Be sure to double check the security of all your loop and chain connections.

Tools & Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Dogwood Necklace-Beaded Jewelry Tutorial at YouTube.

Apr 142017
 

ff coiled hidden bail

There are lots of different ways to hang polymer clay pendants from necklace cord. Some of the more obvious are adding a hole, adding a loop to the pendant or embedding some kind of metal finding. But sometimes the design just doesn’t warrant it. Sometimes you don’t want any of the findings to show on the front.

I’ve seen lots of different styles of polymer clay bails pressed onto the backs of pendants, but they can often be bulky. Today I’m going to show you a quick and easy way to secure a hidden, low-profile bail to the back of your polymer clay pendant.

If you don’t have the coiling gizmo to make your coils you can wrap your wire around anything cylindrical. But using this cool tool will make your work much quicker and it’s easier to get consistent results.

Watch my video on Coiled Wire Beads and Other Findings, which includes how to use the Coiling Gizmo.

Remember to first plan your stringing cord so that you can make a wire coil of the appropriate size. The thicker your coil,  by the way, the thicker the backing of your clay should be. But don’t embed your coil so deeply that you can no longer fit in your cording!

As I mention in the video, all the pendants I use for demonstration in the video were made with directions from Christi Friesen’s book, Flourish.

Tools and Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the How to Make a Hidden Coil Bail For Pendants-Friday Findings Jewelry Tutorial at YouTube.

Apr 112017
 

faux embroidery pendants cover

I’ve always admired the sweet, dainty look of polymer clay faux embroidery and decided it was high time I made a few pieces of my own design.

In today’s video I will teach you the basics, including how to quickly sketch out your own design. Those of you who are my patrons can download my sketches from my Patreon posts.

In preparation for making this project I looked at a lot of examples of polymer clay faux embroidery. One thing I noticed was that they all had beautifully rounded and smooth bases. In the video I will also show you how to achieve that for yourself when filling a purchased bezel with clay.

One neat trick I saw some other clayers use was to roll a nice, smooth round ball and then slice off a section or slice it in half to make their base. You could also use a cabochon mold such as this one from Sculpey, to make your base. The nice thing about that is that they also have molds for making perfectly matching bezels.

So have fun creating these projects in whatever form you like!

Tools and  Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Clay Embroidery Pendants-Polymer Clay Faux Technique Tutorial at YouTube.

Apr 072017
 

ff cutter storage

Many of you many not know that before I had this crafts blog I had an organizing blog, even wrote an e-book on organizing… even sold a few of them, lol. So, yes, I love to organize and am pretty good at it. 🙂

One of the tricky things about polymer clay is the wide variety of tools and materials that can be used with it. It’s wonderful and fun, but how do you store and sort it all?

These little Kemper cutters are so very useful in my clay work, but it can be a pain to find the size and shape you want amidst the jumble. Which is why I decided to make these little trays to keep them neat and organized and eliminate the jumble. I also labeled the sides of the holders with the size of each tool for future reference.

I hope you find this tip helpful. Let us know in the comments in you think of other ways to use it!

Here are a few of the tools shown or referenced in this video:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Custom Organizers for Clay Cutters-Friday Findings Polymer Tutorial video at YouTube.

Apr 042017
 

tiger teardrops necklace cover

I’m sure it’s no secret that I love multi-strand necklaces. I love the layered look and combining together lots of different colors and textures for a rich looking piece of jewelry.

Sometimes, though, I just don’t feel like taking the time to do all that stringing. Today’s necklace gives the rich look of a multi-strand necklace, the drama of dangling teardrops, but the simplicity of using shorter strands. If you want yours to be a little bit fancier do beaded strands on the sides rather than a plain chain.

Many of the beads I used have been in my stash for a while, so it was hard to find the exact same thing for you. The links lead to similar items I could find online, but I encourage you to shop your own store of beady goodies to see what works!

Tools and Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Sharing the Love of Creativity – KeepsakeCrafts.net

Watch the Tiger Teardrops Necklace-Multi-Strand Necklace Jewelry Tutorial at YouTube.

Mar 312017
 

ff press n seal

No, this is not a sponsored post, but I wish it were. 😀 (Glad, if you’re listening, sponsor me and I’ll come up with lots more ways to use your cool product!)

Seriously though, I just recently bought my first package of Glad Press’n Seal and have been really impressed with all the different useful things I can do with it just in the studio alone. I haven’t even brought it into my kitchen yet.

In today’s video I show several ways I have found to make your jewelry making, polymer clay work and general crafting a whole lot easier using Glad Press’n Seal. Please feel free to share other ideas that you have found for using the stuff so we can all learn together!

Here are a few of the products I show in the video:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Creative Uses For Press’n Seal With Jewelry & Polymer Clay-Friday Findings video at YouTube.

Mar 282017
 

crusty boho earrings cover

These earrings are so simple to put together, but have so much going on! It was about time that I found a way to use the beads I made by mistake when creating the Faux Sea Glass Beads video.

Most of the work of these earrings in in choosing all the bits and pieces to layer together. This mix of shapes, colors and textures gives a great funky, earthy look, but you could just as easily get something elegant and sparkly by using glass beads and Swarovski crystals. Just use the design as your jumping off point to make a style that suits you.

As I mention in the video, if all your beads have large enough holes you can string the whole thing on waxed linen twine. Otherwise, use an eye pin to string most of your beads, then add a twine dangle at the bottom. 

Tools & Materials:

Btw, here’s the video I mention for wire wrapping undrilled pieces.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Crusty Boho Earrings-Jewelry Tutorial video at YouTube.

Mar 252017
 

vines & flowers pen cover

Hi everyone, I just wanted to let you know that I have a new tutorial available! It’s for how to make these beautiful vines and flowers covered pens. This is a downloadable PDF tutorial.

vines & flowers pen 7

The tutorial is nearly 20 pages long with plenty of full color photos and detailed step-by-step directions. I show you how to prepare, cover and texture the pen, how to make canes for the vines & flowers and how adding crystals to the flower centers creates a lovely, realistic shape.

vines & flowers pen 15

There’s also a bonus coloring page at the end. It’s vines and flowers, of course. 🙂

Polymer Pen Stand

Once you’ve created your pens you can watch my YouTube video on how to create matching vines and flower pen stands. These sets make wonderful gifts!

vines & flowers pen all 3 crossed

So if you like pretty, creative pens, or you know someone who would like one as a gift, check out the downloadable Vines & Flowers Pen tutorial at CraftArtEdu.

Let me know what you think!

I also put together a short video about this class:

Watch the Vines & Flowers Pen Polymer Clay Downloadable Tutorial video at YouTube.