Jun 302017
 

ff sodalite cover

Recently I sorted through ALL of my beads and jewelry findings. Phew, that was a big project! I had them in 12 14″x15″x 2″ Super Satchel Slim containers, as well as 4 smaller containers, not to mention bunches hanging on hooks on the wall AND some tucked away into a drawer.  

They were organized by color, but they weren’t sorted very well in the storage bins, so I took the advice of Marie Kondo in her book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and also sorted them by type within the bins.

I’m a naturally organized person, and have written quite a lot on organizing myself, so I found her book to be neither life-changing nor magic, but I did pick up a couple helpful ideas:

  1. To gather together all of the things of one type in order to sort them
  2. Decide what you are going to KEEP, rather than choosing things to throw out, by discerning whether or not the object “sparks joy.” 

Lots of cheap acrylic beads were discarded because, nope, no joy there. They just made me say, “Ick,” every time I looked at them.

So, back to my box of blue beads.

All of this is a long-winded way of letting you know that when I sorted the blue beads by type, I realized that I had quite a few examples of sodalite beads, hence, today’s video all about this pretty, bright blue semi-precious gemstone.

It has some interesting characteristics!

Such as “tenebrescence.” Huh?!

Click on the link to see examples of sodalite stones changing color in the sun! (And read the interesting article, if you like.)

Want to use sodalite beads in your jewelry? They come in lots of shapes and sizes. At Amazon you can find:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the What is Sodalite? Learn More About Semi-Precious Gemstones-Friday Findings Tutorial video at YouTube.

May 242017
 

Hello creative people!

I hope today finds you well, and maybe even finding the time to do something crafty. 🙂

I have some great news for you:

Keepsake Crafts is finally getting an email newsletter!


Years ago I set up my blog so those who want to read my posts could subscribe via email.  Sadly, the service I’ve been using is no longer supported, and may soon disappear completely.

No only that, but keeping in touch via social media is harder and harder these days.

Haven’t you noticed that it seems like the venues are so saturated that you can’t always get messages from the people you want?

Instead, it’s the companies that can pay the big bucks that get prioritized in your feeds (I’m looking at you, Facebook!) 

So, let’s make this transition as easy as possible.

pink email

If you subscribe to my blog via email, you need to:

  1. Click here: keepsakecrafts.net
  2. Type your email address in the box that says, “Get Blog Posts and Creative Inspiration In Your Inbox” and click “Subscribe.” (There is a good chance you are already subscribed, but this will make sure.)
  3. Scroll to the bottom of this email you are reading and click, “To stop receiving these emails, you may unsubscribe now.

rss

If you read my blog in a feed reader:

  1. Go to your feed reader and delete the Keepsake Crafts feed that is there.
  2. Add http://keepsakecrafts.net/blog/feed/ to your feed reader content.

That’s all there is to it!

Be watching on Friday, May 26th,  for a Friday Findings video with a special giveaway of beads and jewelry supplies.

Happy creating!

P.S. If you read my blog online at KeepsakeCrafts.net, you should still sign up for the newsletter, as I’ll be periodically sending out information that isn’t on the blog, like special deals, discount codes and announcements. 

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 CafĂŠ 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 CafĂŠ 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 CafĂŠ 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!

Oct 282016
 

studio 1.2

Today’s Friday Findings video is just a quick little tour of a new space that I have for recording my YouTube videos. If you’ve noticed over the past couple videos a change in the sound and lighting this will explain it. I hope to be getting a new microphone and improving the sound sometime soon.

Although the space is small, it’s all mine. What’s wonderful about that is that I can come down and record anytime I think of something. The only exception would be if my husband is in the basement doing woodwork. We probably don’t want to hear power tools running in the background!

Anyhow I just wanted to share this space with you as it makes me very happy to have it and makes my making videos for you much, much easier and less stressful.

Here are links to a few of the helpful things you may have seen the video:

Enjoy the tour. Happy creating!

Watch the Friday Findings-Studio 1.2 Tour at YouTube.

Aug 192016
 

ff gilder's paste

Gilders paste is one of those things that I fell in love with the instant I first tried it. If any of you read Polymer CafÊ magazine and have seen my Fairy Garden Accessories series in the past few issues you might have noticed that I use Gilders Paste in all of them.

It adds just a subtle touch of glitz and is so easy to apply. But you don’t only have to use metallics, Gilders Pastes come in a whole range of colors.

gilders paste chart

As I mentioned in the video there are several more colors that I want to acquire, and you might be surprised at which ones you end up reaching for again and again. The chart above shows the 28 colors currently available.

Tools and materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Friday Findings-Gilders Paste video at YouTube

Jun 142016
 

Hi there, I’ve got some exciting news, I’ve just joined Patreon!

patreon header

In case you’re wondering, Patreon is a simple way for you to contribute to my videos and other creative tutorials on a monthly basis and get great rewards in return.

Some of the rewards available:

  • Access to my patron only feed.
  • Entries into quarterly drawings to win my jewelry and polymer clay pieces! (The more you pledge, the more chances you’ll get.)
  • Your name in the credits of my videos.
  • The good feeling that comes from knowing you are supporting an artist and their creative endeavors.

For details on how you can help check out: Patreon.com/sandysewin

Thank you and happy creating!

Feb 252016
 

Lookee, lookee! That’s me! Can you tell I’m excited by having my work featured on a magazine cover for the first time? 🙂

March April 2016 Polymer Cafe magazine

Anyhow, just in case you missed it, I wanted to share. The tutorial for the little fairy garden birdbath is in this issue, and there are several other fairy garden tuts coming up.

Happy creating!

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 CafĂŠ 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!  ?

Aug 292015
 

It’s the end of the month, so time for another giveaway!

Every month TWO lucky winners will receive packages of handcrafted jewelry worth at least $100 each!

This month both winners will also receive a copy of the September/October 2015 issue of Polymer Café magazine in which yours truly has an article. 🙂

Watch the video below for details. Or watch the video on YouTube.


Please fill out the Rafflecopter area below for your chance to win.

Rafflecopter doesn’t show up on some mobile devices, btw. If you don’t see it below, try refreshing, check back later or visit on a different device.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I’m doing the giveaway at my blog rather than at YouTube to protect YOU from scammers. Your info is protected here. 🙂

Jul 172015
 

ff split ring pliers

The tool that I tell you about today is called split ring pliers. If you must use split rings in your jewelry making, then you really need this tool to help you manage them.

In fact, as I show in the video I also found the tool useful for opening another type of split ring: a key-chain ring. You can use split ring pliers to put keys or other things on your key-chain and not break fingernails in the process. 🙂

I mentioned in the video that I have a love/hate relationship with split rings. It’s only because they’re just such a pain to put on, but I do really like the security that they give.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Friday Findings-Split Ring Pliers video over at YouTube.