Mar 022017
 

fairy garden teapot 1

This was a fun and a really interesting project to work on. It’s based on Marlene Brady’s 2016 Polymer Clay Adventure class on making a fairy garden teapot. I found this teapot at the Salvation Army last fall for two dollars, and it’s been sitting on my desk, patiently waiting ever since.

Marlene made mushroom awnings over her doors and windows, which I thought was utterly adorable but wanted mine to be different. So I made flower blossom awnings over the doors and windows. 

I had envisioned doing some vines and leaves trailing around the teapot and then connected the ideas and now have the flowers looking like they’re growing along and up the teapot in order provide the shade. It’s a fun kind of whimsical touch that I love.

fairy garden teapot 2

My first thought had been to use polymer clay and not the Apoxie Sculpt clay that she suggested, however I decided to order some Apoxie Sculpt and give it a try. I ordered the 1 lb. set of Apoxie Sculpt and used a little less than half of it for this project. If I decide to work with it more I’ll definitely order the 4 lb. set as that’s much more economical.

The nice thing about Apoxie Sculpt over polymer is that it is stuck quite permanently to the teapot, there is no need to lift it off and glue it back down. It also dries very, very hard and is not flexible at all like polymer clay, which depending on your application, can be a plus or minus.

fairy garden teapot 3

One thing I did not like about working with the Apoxie Sculpt over polymer clay was working with the white clay and then having to paint it afterwards. It was especially a pain to paint the vines that were right up against the teapot without making a mess at the edges.

For the little veggies and mushrooms in the garden I decided to color the clay with acrylic paint before sculpting and save myself the painting steps. This changed the clay in an interesting way. It made it more pliable, it was easier to roll and stretch out thin snakes. However, it was also stickier and made shaping difficult, especially while wearing plastic gloves.

fairy garden teapot 4

The teapot is 7 inches from spout to handle and about 4 inches tall. The cauliflower are about 1/2 inch wide and the carrots are between 1/8 and 1/4-inch wide. Sorry that I keep forgetting to put something in the photos to give you a size reference!

When I got down to creating the itty bitty leaves on the turnips and carrots working with this clay had started to drive me crazy. One trick I found is that when the Apoxie Sculpt starts to get too sticky to manage you can spritz it with a little water and that will help act as a release and allow you to handle it firmly without it sticking all over the place.

fairy garden teapot 5

All in all this was a fun project. I love sculpting little tiny things and I think it came out really cute.

I actually picked up yet another teapot a couple weeks ago and have some ideas for doing perhaps something Alice themed. We’ll see.

A few things I learned about working with Apoxie Sculpt:

  • DO wear gloves! You don’t want it drying on your skin
  • If you are mixing up large amounts, use a scale for accuracy
  • Only mix up what you think you’ll use in about an hour
  • Because the clay is white, it’s difficult to mix in paint and get dark colors. Just mix in some paint and then finish the darker details by painting afterwards.

I’ll likely be doing a Friday Findings video on this interesting medium soon and will have more helpful info for you then. 

Have any of you taken classes at the Polymer Clay Adventure? And if so have you made any of the projects?

Happy creating!

Jan 022017
 

Here’s a short little video I made for you looking back on all of the tutorials I’ve created in 2016. It’s kind of amazing to think that it’s been a year since I finished my dragon challenge, as the habits I developed over that year I have served me well this year. I learned to be more disciplined, to work at my art whether I feel like it or not, and to make it a priority.

Dragon Collage 1500x1500

I really love making polymer clay tutorial videos for you all! As I mentioned in the video, I added a third weekly video to my YouTube channel in February. What I didn’t mention was that in August I realized making three a week was just too much. So now I’m back down to two per week, alternating weeks (more or less) with polymer clay and jewelry videos, but always with a Friday Findings video every week.

One hundred thirty seven videos is a LOT and I hope you all have enjoyed them. Let me know in the comments if there are any that stand out to you as particular favorites.

swirly lentil Collage

I also created one class for CraftArtEdu.com this year, my Gradient Swirly Lentils Necklace class. This is a fun polymer technique that can be quite addictive. I strongly suggest if you enjoy polymer clay tutorials that you get on  CraftArtEdu.com’s email newsletter list as they regularly send out coupon codes for 30, 40 and sometimes 50% off their classes.

Another thing I was really pleased to do this year was create tutorials for fairy garden accessories for Polymer Café magazine.

March April 2016 Polymer Cafe magazine

They kicked off my series with the March/April issue in which my fairy garden birdbath was featured on the cover! That was quite a thrill.

fairy garden Collage

I then went on to make five other fairy garden accessory tutorials, concluding with the fairy garden bridge in the January/February 2017 issue. If you’d like to learn how to make these but don’t have a subscription to Polymer Café or can’t get the back issues, keep an eye out because I will be releasing them as individual downloadable PDF tutorials, once the rights revert back to me (about 18 months after publication.)

fairy house pdf promo

I already have one out for sale, my Fairy Garden House.  The Vines and Flowers Pen PDF tutorial will be out sometime in March or April of 2017. (In the meantime you can watch the video tutorial for the matching pen stand.)

clay doll & cheech

Dolly from Maureen Carlson’s How to Make Clay Characters, cat-because he’s a cat

One thing I put in my 2015 looking back and looking ahead article a year ago was that I wanted to do more figure sculpting. Sadly I have only managed to do a grand total of ONE figure this year, this little dolly from Maureen Carlson’s How to Make Clay Characters.

I really have a strong desire to do figures expressing relationships, emotion and interactions and have been studying the work of other artists to see what resonates with me.

My Pinterest board Doll & Figure Inspiration-Polymer Clay shows the direction my interests & tastes take.

pinterest dolls & figures

Speaking of which, if you follow my Pinterest boards I have recently separated out the dragons and figures from my Inspiration-Polymer Clay board, adding two more boards:

In fact, as I look back at my list of 2016 goals, I find that not as many of them as I would have hoped have been accomplished:

  • Work in precious metal clay – Nope, mostly due to lack of funds
  • Finish going through Christi Friesen’s Flourish– No, but nearly there!
  • Work through three books on figures – Not even close ===sigh===
  • Create polymer clay videos for YouTube-Yes! I recorded, edited and uploaded 50 polymer clay videos to my YouTube channel. 
  • Continue to write tutorials for Polymer Café magazine – Yup, did a year-long series. 🙂
  • Turn some of the dragon projects into tutorials – I’m working on it, I promise!

It may be time for a new 2017 challenge to get me moving on my goals.

Thinking about it….

Watch the 2016 Year in Review video at YouTube. 

What are your proudest accomplishments of 2016? Do you have any goals for 2017? 

Happy creating and happy new year!

Jun 022015
 

Happy What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday everyone!

2015 06 03 woyww many many projects (1)

Your view of today’s desk may explain why I’m feeling rather overwhelmed at the moment. There’s no order, no rhyme or reason, just a lot of unfinished projects. I could make a mile-long to do list merely from looking at the photo.

Of course, the culprit just might be that pretty little gadget in the lower right. Yup, that’s my new iPhone and learning to use it has been fun, exciting, frustrating and most of all, TIME-CONSUMING.

I think I spent 1 1/2 hours yesterday just sorting out my contacts. Sheesh. But they are now all nice and tidy, and that makes me happy, so there’s that. 😉

Let me know of your favorite apps, btw, crafty, houseworky, organizing, productivity, all suggestions are welcome!

2015 06 03 woyww finished cards

Lest you think I’ve done nothing but play on my phone, here’s proof that I actually DID finish those cards last week. It did not happen all in one day, but took until Friday. I actually ended up making a baker’s dozen, but one was mailed off before I took this photo.

The three in the lower left (and the one I mailed) were done with a partial die cutting technique. With the exception of the pink, glittery oval (I’ll have to think carefully about who will get this glitter bomb) the rest were done with embossing pastes through stencils. I colored the paste with distress inks and am especially happy with the top left three. The two brownish ones were gold embossing paste through a steampunk stencil. They didn’t come out quite as cool as I’d hoped but they’ll do.

If you have a few minutes to spare, you can go to What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday to check out the workdesks of other creative people from all over.  Why do we do this?  Cuz Julia says, and it’s What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday!

May 262015
 

Happy What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday everyone!

2015 05 27 woyww making cards

On this week’s desk are some supplies of mine you haven’t seen in a while: card making stuff! I’ve been so busy with other things that it’s fallen by the wayside. Only so many hours in a day and all that.

In fact, a few months back I decided to give up trying to keep up with the Tim Holtz monthly tags. I felt a little sad, but it has been one less stress every month.

But, just for today I’m going to play with technique ideas I’ve been storing up and make a dozen or so cards.

Whatever you’re doing, may you have happy creating!

To see what’s happening on the desks of many other crafty and creative people, go to What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday.  Cuz it’s Wednesday and that’s what we do.

Dec 162014
 

Happy crazy busy What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday that’s real close to Christmas!

2014 12 17 woyww christmas cards (1)

As you can see from my desk, today finds me listening to Christmas music on Pandora and filling out Christmas cards.

Now, I know that many of you are card makers and you work very hard to hand create all of your Christmas cards, so please don’t shoot me… but mine are store bought.

I did, however, add some stamping as I thought the printed sentiment was rather lacking.

2014 12 17 woyww christmas cards (2)

I love this sentiment! It’s the Stampendous Precious Gift Stamp, btw.

polymer cafe contents

In case you are wondering why there are THREE copies of the same issue of Polymer Cafe on my desk, well, one of them is my subscription issue and the other two are comp issues cuz I’ve got an article in there! 

Whoop, whooop!

Of course, one of the comp issues is going to my mom, who else? 😀

Anyhow, I’m nearly done with the hand-cramp-inducing part of signing the cards and now just need to seal & address them. So I’ll leave you all to your own preparations.

If you have a few minutes to take a break, be sure to check out the busyness on the desks of other creative folks from all around the world. We link up over at Julia’s every Wednesday to do just that.

Happy creating and Merry Christmas!

Sep 232014
 

Happy What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday and the first full day of autumn! (Or happy spring to  my friends in the southern hemisphere.) 🙂

2014 09 24 woyww  september tim tag

Today’s workdesk shows quite the array of supplies needed for Tim Holtz’s September  tag.

I was happy to try my new Bird Feather  stamp set, as I didn’t have it when he used it on his tag back in March.

september tim tag

Not sure that I’m thrilled with that egg floating in mid air, although I do like the effect of the solid stamp plus the speckles stamp.

The technique of using Alcohol Blending Solution with the Burlap Stencil to create a ghosted image is cool, although mine didn’t work out the way he said. I had to go back in with the blending solution over the stencil after adding Butterscotch alcohol ink to the card.

The leaves were colored with all different alcohol inks, including a bit of Gold Mixative, and then cut from the Autumn Gatherings Sizzix Sizzlits Die.

The colors in this card are kind of schizophrenic, as it doesn’t know whether it wants to be spring or fall. Which is, I suppose, true to how I was feeling while I worked on it. 🙂

So now I’ve shown you mine, show us yours. We have lots of fun peeking at creative desks from all over the world at the blog link party at Julia’s

Happy creating!

Jul 292014
 

Happy What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday!  Today’s messy desk is brought to you courtesy of Tim Holtz’s July 2014 tag.

2014 07 30 woyww july tim holtz beach tag

I never did get around to the May or June tags, but Tim had an interesting “recipe” for faux sand to add to this month’s project. It involves mixing Glossy Accents, Pumice Stone Distress GlitterAntique Linen Distress Embossing PowderBlack Soot Distress Emboss Powder and UTEE Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel.

The look was very much like beach sand, if a little smooth for my taste, so I added some Mudd Puddles sand on top to give it a bit more texture.

2014 07 30 woyww july tim holtz beach tag 2

 

Here’s the nearly completed tag. I was particularly pleased with how the seashells came out. They were cut out using the Seashell # 1 Sizzix Die, then I coated the Grungeboard with Picket Fence Distress Stain and colored them in with Distress Markers.

The coral bits are actually the branches from the Autumn Gatherings Sizzix Sizzlits Die. Tricky, eh? 😉

It’s gonna take a while for all that sandy goop to dry, so I haven’t yet made it into a card, but that’s likely where it will end up.

That’s all I’ve got for today. If you’d like to see what other creative folk are up to, be sure to check out our blog link party over at Julia’s.

Happy creating!

 

Apr 152014
 

Hello and happy What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday.  I’m getting to Tim’s April tag early this month because it’s a delaying technique to avoid crunching certain numbers that must be crunched this time of year.

2014 04 16 woyww april tim holtz tag

But I promised myself that after I finished the tag I would go fill out all those durned forms. And I did.  Phew.

Anyhow, as usual, it’s amazing to see just how many products are needed for one little tag.

I love the way the Symphony Tissue Tape and Sketchbook Tissue Tapes combined with Picked Raspberry Distress Paint to make a cool background.

april 2014 tim holtz tag (2)

Tim used this tag to introduce one of his new products, the Frameworks Trellis die, which I don’t have yet. I was intrigued by the idea of filling in the empty spaces in a die and thought my Weathered Clock die would work.

april 2014 tim holtz tag (4)

Rather than leaving it plain, I decided to color the mirror backed plastic with Stream and Bottle alcohol inks.

april 2014 tim holtz tag (3)

I just love the roses made with the Tattered Pine Cone die. And, yes, the bird is a rather obvious allusion to “time flies.” 🙂

Happy creating!

Apr 012014
 

Happy Wednesday! Here’s what you came for,  my slightly messy desk today. (Click on the pics for a closer look.)

As usual, it amazes me how many products are needed to make one little tag. Also, I’m pretty sure a few things had been put away before I remembered to take this photo.

2014 04 02 woyww march tim tag (1)

I’d kinda put off working on Tim’s March tag because I really liked his stamp set with the bird’s nest & the feather and was hoping to find it locally.

2014 04 02 woyww march tim tag (2)

Instead I used Hero Arts’ & Sizzix’s Butterflies & Flowers Stamp & Die set. The flowers were stamped in Worn Lipstick distress ink.  I used  Broken China and Peeled Paint inks to stamp the butterflies. Tim’s idea for a technique was to smudge the ink right after stamping, but I didn’t think it made that much of a difference.

2014 04 02 woyww march tim tag (3)

What really DID make a difference, and is my favorite new (ish) technique, is going over the stamps with distress markers and then a waterbrush to blend. For the distress markers I used Spun Sugar, Crushed Olive and Mustard Seed for the flowers, and added a bit of Broken China to the butterfly.

It would have been fun to play with the Distress Marker Spritzer, but that’s another tool I haven’t been able to find locally. It’s on my Amazon wishlist, though! Have any of you had a chance to try it out?

Are you thinking that the pretty spring time flowers are all well and good, but wondering why I shared a photo of my piled up desk?  It’s because it’s What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday. A bunch of us share, take a peek, have fun and are often quite inspired. Join us over at Julia’s if you want to see what the fuss is about.

Happy creating!

Feb 252014
 

Happy Wednesday, all!  Would you believe 99% of the products on this desk are for making one little card?

2014-02-26-woyww-february-tim-tag

It can be a bit much for us crafters, but if you’re Tim Holtz and Ranger, it’s nothing less than brilliant marketing. 🙂

february-tim-tag-beautiful-butterfly-1

The result of this messy desk is my card based on Tim’s February 2014 tag.

I was determined not to spend more than an hour, but it probably took closer to an hour 20 mins.  It came together this quickly because I just grabbed the closest thing that would kinda work for the technique and refused to agonize over any one step.

Yes, his layering stencils are cool, but I don’t have any so I used a brass stencil.  I needed sponge daubers to get into some of the small areas rather than shred my ink applicators, and it worked out well.   The clear embossing over the distress inking makes the colors much more vivid.

I’d tried his chalking technique before, but didn’t care for it, so I just silver embossed the sentiment.

A clear embossed background stamp on the kraft card base gives some interest.

february-tim-tag-beautiful-butterfly-close-up

I only own one Distress Glitter, Pumice Stone, and I bought only that neutral color for a reason, so I could color it with any color alcohol inks I need.  In this case the glitters for the flowers were colored with Purple Twilight and Wild Plum alcohol inks.  Just two drops in about a teaspoon of the glitter made these soft colors.  Need more brilliant colors?  Add more ink! (If you try this don’t get worried if when you first stir it looks like a clumpy mess. Keep on stirring and it will smooth out perfectly.)

2014-02-19-chong-cheech

And, on my other workdesk, here are the brothers napping together.  Actually, Cheech was on my other workdesk last week, hanging out with me while I did the hand stitching on the velvet jacket.  What are a few light cat hairs on a black jacket compared to such good company?

So, that’s what’s on my desk this week. Want to see what other creative people are up to? Check out the blog link party over at Julia’s What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday.