Apr 062016
 

pc textures cover

In last week’s Gentle Breezes earrings video we used a purchased texture plate to make a texture in polymer clay. It’s a quick and easy way to do it, but I really prefer to create my own textures.

In today’s video I give you a wide variety of ideas for creating unique textures for your polymer clay projects. Not only can you use unexpected household items, but consider going outdoors to see what you can find. Or just take a closer look at everything.

peach pits

Who’d a thunk it? Peach pits!

Here are several ideas that didn’t make it into the video:

To make my textures I like to use  Easymold Silicone Putty. If you don’t have a pasta machine to roll the sheets an Acrylic Clay Roller will work just fine. Texturing tools you may find helpful:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Creating Textures For Polymer Clay video over at YouTube.

Mar 252016
 

studio tour worktable

Many of you said you enjoyed my studio tour and seeing how I organize and store things in my work space. Today I show you some of the details of my work table.

Here are links to the things I mention in the video:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Friday Findings-Studio Tour Part 5, Work Table video over at YouTube.

Mar 042016
 

ff studio tour bookcase

Oh, how much I love this bookcase! When I first took this room for my sewing space I covered this large wall with white flannel. It was an awesome design wall for quilting.

But as time went by I starting doing less and less quilting and gathered other kinds of supplies. After a while there were stacks and piles of boxes and tools heaped at the base of the wall. That was when it became apparent that it was time to let the design wall go and get some sort of bookcase.

I started shopping for bookcases, but hubby said he’d build me one. It took a while, but was well worth the wait. 🙂

In this video I’ll show you how I organize my supplies on this bookcase. It’s my goal that not only can I easily access all my tools, but that everything look beautiful as well!

Here are links to a few of the products I mention in the video:

Let me know if there is anything else you’d like to see more closely.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Friday Findings-Studio Tour Part 2-Bookcase over at YouTube.

Feb 262016
 

ff studio tour overview

Since we moved into this house nearly 18 years ago I’ve been working at making my studio the best work space possible. I chose this particular room because of the three rooms adjoining it: the bathroom, the kitchen and (at the time) the computer room. All very important to be close to! 🙂

First it was my “sewing room,” then the “craft room,” but now I think “studio” is most appropriate.

design wall in use

When we first moved in I was doing a lot of quilting and so covered the entire southern wall with white flannel. This was my quilt design wall, which you can see in action here.

Now it’s got this wonderful bookcase that my hubby built for me. In today’s video I’ll give you an overview tour of my whole room and next week I’ll show the bookcase in more detail.

Btw, these are  the bead storage containers I use: ArtBin Super Satchel Slim.

If there are any other areas you’d like to see more closely, please be sure to let me know.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Friday Findings-Studio Tour Part 1 video over at YouTube.

Jan 162016
 

sweet treats jar

This cute candy jar is the perfect thing for any time you need a little something special for a gift. It goes together quickly with just a few supplies you’ll find in the scrapbook section of your local craft store. If you’re a card maker or scrapbooker, you probably already have everything you need!

I added some special treats to this jar: Frosted Chocolate-Toffee Macadamia Nuts that the Halē Kai Lana company sent me to try out. These nuts are absolutely delicious!

When you pop one into your mouth first there’s the hit of sweet from the coating, next a wonderful deep, rich chocolate taste, then the crunchy toffee bits and finally you get to the macadamia nut goodness in the center. So yummy. 🙂

If you watch the video you’ll learn the story of their name, which means “Floating House in the Sea” in Hawaiian. I love how they’ve taken a tragedy and persevered to build their family business. They also have 100% Kona coffee, so be sure to check them out.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Sweet Treats Candy Jar video over at YouTube.

Materials:

Directions:

  1. Use a pencil to trace jar lid on back of patterned paper. Cut out with scissors and insert into jar ring.
  2. Fill jar with candy of choice and screw on lid with ring and paper center.
  3. Apply adhesive backed pearls or other trim to edge of jar.
  4. Thread tag onto twine or ribbon and tie in a bow around rim of jar.
  5. If you like, you can use inks (or even colored Sharpies!) to color paper flowers. Use glue dots to adhere layers of flowers, then adhere a pearl or rhinestone to each center. Adhere flowers to jar next to bow and tag.
Jan 152016
 

ff e6000

Most of the time when we make jewelry we use mechanical connections to hold things together. You know, things like jump rings, wire loops and such.

However, there are occasion where it’s not only perfectly acceptable, but desirable to use a bit of glue.

In this video I’ll tell you about one of the glues I use the most in my crafting and give you some tips for using it.

You can find E6000 in several forms:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!


You can watch the Friday Findings-E6000 Glue video over at YouTube.

Jan 122016
 

If you’ve been following my blog for any time at all you know that I just spent entirety of 2015 doing a creative challenge. Specifically, I challenged myself to make a polymer clay dragon every week of the year!

Here are a few of them:

Dragon Collage 1500x1500

Click on the photos for a closer look.

You can read about WHY I did the challenge here, in my post on Errol, dragon #1 and you can review all 52 dragons on my Thursday’s Dragon Pinterest board.

tiger's voyage dragons

These are some of my favorites, dragons based on the book, Tiger’s Voyage.

Completing the challenge accomplished what I hoped it would, as I’m now much more disciplined about working on my art, rather than just looking at what other people have done and collecting ideas.

Oh, but I do have ideas! And now that I have time to work on my 2016 plans here are some of them:

  • Use what I learned in the Torch Fired Precious Metal Clay Class I took on Craftsy. Jenny Vestal does a great job breaking it all down for beginners. Now I just need to buy some PMC and get started. I definitely want to make dragons out of silver clay!
  • Continue working on polymer clay sculpture with a focus on figures. I especially want to develop expression and personality in my pieces. Some of the books I  plan to work through:
    • Christi Friesen’s Flourish – Nearly done with this one.
    • Creating Lifelike Figures in Polymer Clay
    • How to Make Clay Characters – I made several pieces from this book years ago, when I didn’t know much about polymer clay. I didn’t get the concept of conditioning the clay properly and they’ve all since crumbled. Let that be a lesson to ya!
    • Family and Friends in Polymer Clay – This one is exciting to think about as I can’t tell you how many times I’ve studied someone’s face and thought, “I want to sculpt them.” Now to get some willing subjects…
  • Create weekly polymer clay tutorials for my YouTube channel. I’ve already started and these will be uploaded every Wednesday, beginning in February.
  • Continue to write tutorials for Polymer Café magazine. I have some exciting news regarding that publication, but it will have to wait until later, when I can share.
  • Perhaps turn some of the dragon projects into tutorials? I’m still considering how best to accomplish that.

So those of some of my plans for 2016. Have you made plans or set goals? I’d love to hear about them, feel free to share in the comments. Then we can all hold one another accountable. 😀

Happy creating!

 

**The links  provided are for products I own, have used and would recommend to a friend.  I do participate in affiliate programs with Amazon, Craftsy and a couple others, but I will never link to anything I cannot personally endorse.

Yes, Keepsake Crafts will make money if you choose to make a purchase through these links.  However, I can almost guarantee it will go right back into buying more crafty goodies!  ?

Dec 312015
 

Well, I did it!

I proudly present to you the 52nd and FINAL polymer clay dragon in my personal challenge to make a dragon sculpture for every week in 2015. Check out this post on Errol, dragon #1, for the details on why I started.

I’ve made huge dragons on towers, teeny tiny dragon on cabochons, 2-dimensional dragons (so NOT my thing), necklaces, bracelets, treasure dragons, ocean dragons, forest dragons, steampunk dragons and even a cell phone holder dragon!

It’s been fun and I learned a lot, but phew! It’ll be nice to not have to pump one out every week. 🙂

Click on any of the photos for a closer look.

dragon #52 Opal 1

Opal was inspired by Donna Greenberg’s Rhythm Ruffle technique which was published in The Polymer Arts magazine in Fall of 2012. As soon as I saw it I thought, “Dragon spines!” 🙂

dragon #52 Opal 2

For the base color I used Premo’s new Opal clay. The accent colors are Sculpey Souffle Lagoon, Peacock Pearl and Pearl Purple.

Opal’s body is Premo Opal mixed with just a tiny pinch of Peacock Pearl.

dragon #52 Opal 3

I’ve made a Thursday’s Dragon Pinterest board so you can see them all in one place. Some time soon I’ll put together a collage of the favorites.

As for New Year’s resolutions? I don’t make ’em. I make goals and plans to reach those goals, and those can start any time of the year. After all what are resolutions for without a plan?

cats on treadmill

So what’s up for 2016? Oh I have plans, lots of plans, but I won’t hold myself to quite the same strict scheduling as last year. It’s my hope to spend some time working on figure sculpting and especially developing expression, personality and story telling in my work.

I also hope to get into metal clay sculpting. It’s similar work as polymer, but you end up with fine silver pieces in the end!

It’s also in the plans to start a weekly polymer clay tutorial on my YouTube channel. So be watching for announcements on that.

Many thanks to you, my readers and viewers for all your support and kind comments. It truly is what keeps me inspired to keeping working, creating and teaching.

May you all have a blessed New Year and happy creating!

Dec 172015
 

This week I have for you the penultimate sculpture in my year-long weekly polymer clay dragon challenge. Since Joy was made in the midst of Christmas preparations, I decided it would be appropriate to put her on top of a Christmas ornament,  from whence she can watch all of the festivities. 🙂

Click on any of the photos for a closer look.

dragon #51 Joy 1

Joy’s body is made from two different brands of translucent clay mixed with gold leaf.

If you’d like to see my other dragon creations so far, I’ve made a Thursday’s Dragon Pinterest board just for them.

dragon #51 Joy 2

I really love the beaded accents for her spines, as well as the webbing bits in between which is more like what you often see on many dragon representations.

dragon #51 Joy 3

The bauble is a ceramic Christmas ornament that I found at the craft store. They only had them in white, so I colored mine with a variety of alcohol inks. I really think the mottled look of the ball very much accents the dragon.

dragon #51 Joy 4

Only one more to go, and I have lots of plans for projects to work on in the new year. But I’ll tell you more about that once Christmas is past.

dragon #51 Joy 5

Don’t forget that next Thursday is Christmas eve and I won’t be putting up a dragon. Instead #52, the final one in this year-long challenge, will go up on New Year’s eve. Be watching for that in two weeks!

Check out this post on Errol, dragon #1, for the details on why I am making a dragon for every week in 2015.

Dec 102015
 

dragon #50 Brandt (1)

Meet Brandt, dragon #50 in my year-long series of polymer clay dragons. I can hardly believe there are only two left to complete this challenge!

Brandt’s name means “proud,” which seems appropriate as he is inspired by the beauty of peacocks.

Click on any of the photos for a closer look.

working on peacock dragon

Earlier this week I shared this in progress photo. You can see that I made a clay cane based on the designs and colors in a real peacock feather.

dragon #50 Brandt (2)

The original plan was to cover his body with the cane, but that seemed too busy. I much prefer the blue to green gradient with just touches of the peacock eye shapes.

If you’d like to see my other dragon creations so far, I’ve made a Thursday’s Dragon Pinterest board just for them.

dragon #50 Brandt (3)

His tail really gives the impression of a peacock’s tail, without making him look like a peacock.

dragon #50 Brandt (4)

I love the little smirk on his face, a proud fellow indeed!

Check out this post on Errol, dragon #1, for the details on why I am making a dragon every week in 2015.