Sep 222017
 

Ordering products from PolyClayPlay.com has come up several times in conversations with other polymer clay artists. But, I will admit to being a little slow to catch on sometimes, lol.

I finally got around to placing an order with them, and wow, they have such an array of interesting products to choose from… it was hard to stop shopping.

poly clay play unboxing

In fact, I already know many of the things I’m going to get next time!

This order started because I needed some Pardo translucent clay and one of my YouTube viewers mentioned that it was at an excellent price at PolyClayPlay. Actually, it was less than half the price of Amazon.

Once I was on the site I looked at everything. There were so many intriguing products, I had a hard time keeping my order to a reasonable size. (At $122, dunno that I succeeded there. <bg>)

I hope this video will spark some ideas and fire up your creative imagination for ways to use supplies that you might not have thought of using with polymer clay.

Don’t forget to use the coupon code Keepsake for $3 off your order at PolyClayPlay.com.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the PolyClayPlay Polymer Clay Supplies & Tools Unboxing-Friday Findings video at YouTube.

Sep 192017
 

I’ve seen it so many times before and yet it always amazes me that having to seek solutions to design problems always leads to a better finished design than if you didn’t have the problem in the first place.

tasseled affaire necklace cover

I’m not entirely sure that calling this beautiful hand-painted Chinese porcelain bead a “problem” is at all correct , but, in my mind it just seemed a bit small for a focal bead.

The solution, creating a tassel out of beaded chain, makes the bead so much more than it would’ve been otherwise. Not to mention that tassels are trendy and fun to wear.

I don’t know about you but whenever I wear a necklace with tassels I find there’s something irresistible about it and I can’t help but play and fiddle with it all day long.

So take another look in your bead stash and perhaps find a bead that you thought wasn’t quite large enough to be a focal. Give it a fun tassel and make yourself a great new necklace!

For only some of the beads was able to find links to the exact ones I used. Otherwise I gave you a link to a page of several supplies to choose from. Hope you find this list helpful!

Tools & Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating.

Watch the A Tasseled Affaire-Porcelain Bead & Beaded Tassel Necklace Jewelry Tutorial video at YouTube.

Sep 152017
 

A fair amount of research goes into each of these Friday Findings videos and I always enjoy learning more about the materials we use in our creations.

ff long short chain

So often we take these things for granted, not really thinking about how much work goes into the design and construction of the supplies we use.

beadaholique long short

One thing that got me very excited while looking at long-short chain and all the variations I had just in my own small stash was the possibility of designing and creating my own chain with just the right details for every project.

fmg long short

As you look at all these different types of chains, I hope you start thinking about all the  components and bits and pieces you have that you could put together in new and exciting ways!

artbeads long short

Here are a few of my favorite sources for long-short chain:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the What is Long-Short Chain? Friday Findings Jewelry Tutorial video at YouTube.

Sep 122017
 

Have you ever had too much of a jewelry supply you didn’t really care for? This project began because I found myself with a supply of far more copper split rings that I would ever want or need to use.

iris dagger earrings cover

The idea for using the split rings as spacers between beads started with seeing other designs that used wire coils as spacers in between beads. I really like the way the split rings slip and twist against each other, creating random movement.

crystal point earrings 1

If you are one of my $5 or above monthly Patreon supporters be sure to check out the patron-only longer version of this video where I share a tutorial for these crystal point earrings. They are similar, but actually use spacer beads in between the dangles.

I love how the wire wrapping around the crystal shards has a kind of steampunk, industrial, sci-fi look. Or something like that… What would you call it?

Whatever you call it, I’m was really pleased with the final effect of this wrapping that leaves the interestingly jagged top edges of the beads exposed.

Tools and Materials:

For bonus patron project:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Blue Iris Dagger Bead Dangle Earrings-Jewelry Tutorial at YouTube.

Sep 082017
 

Did you know that I made a Friday Findings video on cable chain over a year ago? It made me wonder why I had put off making any more videos in a series on chains.

ff curb chain

The only conclusion I can come to is that I thought there wouldn’t be much of interest to say about it. Wow, was I wrong there!

curb chain fmg

Studying these chains, their uses and the history of word “curb” was fascinating! I’ll never look at curb chain as “just plain old chain” again. 

curb chain artbeads

You can also get good deals on Amazon.com, just be sure to double check the quality.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the What is Curb Chain And Why Is It Called That? Friday Findings Tutorial video at YouTube.

Sep 052017
 

The simplicity and ease of using purchased molds is always enticing. But it wars with the rebel/creative person in me who wants her work to look completely unique and not like anybody else’s.

altered bezels cover

The wonderful thing about clay is that you can still shape it even after pressing it into a mold!

We can use this to our advantage while creating bezels that perfectly fit our molded cabochons, but then customizing them with various tools after removing them from the molds.

One thing I forgot to mention in the video is that I like to use my clay blade after adding the texture to straighten up the edges of the bezel.

Just hold your blade perpendicular to the work surface and gently press it along the edges to straighten them. (I did this at one point in the video, but didn’t really explain how to do it after adding your textures.)

Another way of customizing your bezels would be to bake them in the molds, keeping their perfect shape, and then add decoration such as the beaded border I showed, and bake again. I may explore these possibilities in another video.

Tools & Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Altered Bezels for Polymer Clay Cabochons Tutorial video at YouTube.

Sep 012017
 

Have you tried bead weaving? If you have or if you’ve done any work at all with seed beads then you are probably aware that there are a whole variety of needles out there called “beading needles.

ff beading needles cover

In today’s video I show several of the most popular different types of beading needles, explain their pluses and minuses, similarities and differences AND you’ll get to see the disgraceful state of my own beading needles!

Here are links to the needles I showed in the video:

Below are tutorials for all of the bracelets I showed at the beginning of the video, along with a few other beading project just for fun!

Some of the designs are free online and some of the designers are charging a few dollars for their patterns. I can assure you the paid patterns are well worth it, as these designers put a lot of time, expertise and trial and error into working out these projects for you.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the How to Choose the Right Needle for Bead Weaving & Seed Beads-Friday Findings Tutorial video at YouTube.

Aug 292017
 

Laying down alternating strips of surface effects to make a polymer clay veneer is a technique that is a lot of fun. As I mentioned in the video I spent a couple hours just doing the few cabochons that I showed on camera today.

crackle veneer cover

I took a closer look at them all after making the video and decided that I want to do even more experimenting and maybe make a few in a variety of shapes that will go together in a cluster to make a large statement pendant.

If you don’t have a stash of polymer clay technique sheets, now is a good time to pick a few that you’ve been wanting to try! Play and experiment and then put them together to see what combinations you like.

A few possibilities to try would be:

crackle veneers insta

Of course, there are lots, lots more.

A quick YouTube search for “polymer clay surface technique” will keep you busy for days, if not weeks and months!

I’ve use these Sculpey cabochon molds several times but have yet to use the bezel mold. That will be next up in my own experimenting, and of course for a video tutorial.

Tools and Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the How to Make Polymer Clay Cabochons with Crackle & Surface Effect Veneers video at YouTube.

Aug 252017
 

Products that do the job well AND save us money are always a plus in my book!

ff resuable mold plastic

Although I greatly enjoy using silicone molding putty in many, many projects, I was intrigued to hear there was a molding plastic out there that could be melted down after every use and reused.

Sadly, I have many silicone molds that I used only one time, or that didn’t come out well. I’d love to be able to have that material back!

In today’s video I will show you how to use Instamorph moldable plastic. I’ll also show you a way you probably shouldn’t use it!

You’ll also learn a list of pros and cons for it as compared to silicone molding putty.

Tools and Materials:

If you find the idea of moldable plastic intriguing, this link brings you to several similar products, some of which are colored for making objects out of them.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Reusuable Low-Temp Melt Plastic for Polymer Clay & Resin Molds & Molding-Friday Findings video at YouTube.

Aug 222017
 

Ever since the first time I got crackles on a piece of polymer clay ( I think it was by accident) I’ve been fascinated with the look and the concept.

crackled effects cover

One of my go-to techniques for creating an interesting finish on polymer clay is to simply add a sheet of metallic leaf to a sheet of clay and then run it through the pasta machine:

  1. once in one direction
  2. then turn 90°
  3. make setting slightly thinner
  4. run though in other direction

This gives you sparkling, even crackles in both directions.

I’ve also been seeing a lot of clay on clay crackles lately and wanted to explore this. The chunky crackles look especially cool and I’ll be sharing how to do those soon.

crackled effects

The dreamy, atmospheric looking crackles in the center of the above photo were done by folding and then rolling the sheet through the pasta machine a few more times after the initial crackling. As I mention in the video, this would be a gorgeous background for a landscape or beach scene.

Keep in mind that you likely will have to clean your pasta machine well after doing this!

In today’s video I’ll show you how to get a fine crackle effect on polymer clay and also explain the variables so you can understand and control them as you experiment.

Next week I’ll show you a way of using these crackled sheets to make beautiful cabochons.

Tools and Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the How to Get Crackle Effects in Polymer Clay Tutorial video at YouTube.