Aug 112017
 

In response to your viewer questions on several different polymer clay videos I’ve made today’s video. Hope you find it helpful!

ff polymer on glass

There seems to be some confusion about dealing with polymer clay:

  • when placed on non-porous surfaces like glass
  • and how to manage it after baking.

I hope that today’s video clears it all up for you, but please feel free to contact me if you have any other questions or concerns.

Here are links to the videos I mention and also some of the supplies I like to use.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the How to Keep Polymer Clay Stuck on Glass/Non-Porous Objects-Friday Findings Tutorial video at YouTube.

Jul 312017
 

Yay, I finally got back to my figure challenge!

2017 pcfc #7 Everett cover

This fellas name is Everett and I titled him “Just Imagine.” Everett is kind of a geeky guy who loves all things adventure, fantasy and make believe.

Is he pretending to be Indiana Jones? A wizard? And what’s in that letter? Is it a call to come participate in some grand quest? Rescue a princess?

I’ll leave it to your imagination.

2017 pcfc #7 Everett (1)

I have absolutely no idea why, but I totally love sculpting shoes, boots and hats! It was really no hardship to spend the afternoon staring at a young Harrison Ford/Indiana Jones while sculpting the Indiana Jones hat. 😎 I’m pretty pleased with how it came out.

2017 pcfc #7 Everett (2)

My patrons were the first to get to see this, my latest figure sculpture. They got an advance viewing on Friday.  Just one of the little perks I like to send my patrons’ way.

2017 pcfc #7 Everett (3)

Everett is number seven of the polymer clay figures I’ve made this year. This works out perfectly as July is the 7th month and I am now officially redefining my 2017 polymer clay figure challenge to be only one figure per month.

2017 pcfc #7 Everett (4)

If I didn’t have other things to do, like things that bring in money to pay the bills, I would definitely want to keep working on two figures a month to continue growing my skills. But, you know, it’s ok because it’s good to be working on a variety of things at the same time.

2017 pcfc #7 Everett (5)

I’ve also realized at this point that I am totally done with making figures that have any size to them without full wire armatures on the inside. It may be easier to sculpt without them, but I am so tired of their arms falling off! Argh.

2017 pcfc #7 Everett (6)

Another thing I think I want to do more of is making soft bodies on a wire armature and clothing them with real fabrics. Since my first love is sewing I have quite a collection of fabrics, and I’ve been saving many special ones for dolls.

So perhaps I’ll make one or two more from Maureen Carlson’s How to Make Clay Characters because she has some interesting ideas for using millefiori techniques to make patterned fabric clothing out of clay. But then I think I’m going to go more to using actual fabrics.

Although I still want to sculpt the hats and the shoes!

2017 pcfc #7 Everett (7)

Watch a short video of Everett the Adventurer Wizard Wanna-Be at YouTube.

Jul 042017
 

Today we have the second video in a two part series, if you missed it here’s How to Make the Heart Toggle Pendants in Part 1.

heart toggle pt 2 cover

This kind of a project is a fun challenge. I knew going in that I wanted to use a heart shape with a hole in it as a toggle. I also knew that I wanted to have some kind of dangles. My initial thought was to have the dangles coming down from holes near the tip of the heart.

It took a little bit of engineering and figuring to make it all come together, this is why I didn’t make any holes in the piece (except for the one for the toggle bar, of course!) until after I had it figured out. In the end I’m really pleased with both necklaces.

My favorite part are those chain dangles that flow down from the center of the toggle bars. 

Btw, don’t forget that if you are one of my patrons I have template of these heart shapes for you available on my Patreon posts page.

heart toggle pendants cover

If you missed how to make the polymer clay hearts and toggles check out the part one video.

Tools and Materials:

  • polymer clay heart toggle pendant
  • french wire
  • crimps
  • crimp covers
  • bead stringing wire
  • beads for necklace
  • bead stoppers
  • flat nose pliers
  • wire cutters
  • chain nose pliers
  • crimping pliers
  • One Step Looper
  • One Step Crimper
  • awl
  • 1/16 drill bit
  • chain & clasp for necklace
  • chain for dangles
  • head pins

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Heart Toggle Pendants-Polymer Clay Jewelry Tutorial Part 2 video at YouTube.

Jun 272017
 

It’s always fun to break the rules, or at least stretch them or bend them a little! One of my favorite ways of doing that is to find new and unusual uses for jewelry findings.

heart toggle pendants cover

In a recent video I showed how you could make your own polymer clay toggle clasp findings. I decided to bend and stretch, quite literally, that concept to make these heart toggle clasps that function not only as the closure for the necklace, but as a focal pendant.

Although I used a heart shape, you can make your pendants any shape you want. Use any kind of clay sheet you want to create them, decorate them with anything you like. In short, use this idea as a jumping off place for your own creativity!

The flower and leaf canes that are used are very simple and basic.

Here are links to tutorials you may find useful if you are new to polymer clay caning. If you’d like me to make a video showing how I made my leaves & flowers, leave a comment & let me know.

In next week’s video I will show you how to add beads and dangles to turn this clasp into a necklace.

Tools & Materials:

Learn how to turn your toggle pendants into necklace in Part 2.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Heart Toggle Pendants Pt.1-Polymer Clay Jewelry Findings Tutorial video at YouTube.

Watch the Heart Toggle Pendants Pt.2-Polymer Clay Jewelry Tutorial video at YouTube.

Jun 202017
 

Today’s video is all about the best part of making creative things: experimentation and play.

Sometimes we get so caught up in following tutorials, or making things look like something else we’ve seen, that we don’t take the time to just be creative, explore new possibilities, and find our own voice.

textured beads cover

When you do sit down to this kind of creative play it’s good to just have your focus on a few simple things. This is what I show you in today’s video. I’m just making simple textured beads, but I’m playing with relatively new texture sheets. The only other thing I’m focusing on are surface effects. 

As you’ll see when you watch the video, the discoveries and revelations come from experimenting and having fun with the process.

For me, and I suspect for a lot of other artists, this is the best way to come up with techniques and processes that are uniquely my own, (or at least ones that I didn’t copy from someone else.)

By using just a quarter block, or 1/2 ounce of clay you be able to make 10 to 11 beads. Even though I made around 30 beads I found it still wasn’t enough to fully explore all the possibilities. So be sure to make plenty.

Don’t focus on making a finished product. But when you’re all done I’m sure you will be able to pull out enough pieces to make a bracelet or necklace. Don’t be surprised if they aren’t the ones you originally expected to use!

Tools and Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Textured Bead Tutorial and Surface Effect Experiments-Polymer Clay at video YouTube.

Jun 162017
 

ff polymer toggles

As much fun as it is to buy unique and interesting products to use for our creativity, I think it’s even more fun to make them myself. I love knowing that not only are my pieces totally unique, there simply isn’t another one like it anywhere in the world, but that they perfectly match the rest of my project.

It’s just very satisfying, doncha think?

In today’s video I will show you how you can easily make toggle clasps for your bracelets or necklaces using just leftover bits and pieces of polymer clay. In the examples shown in the photo you might recognize the silk-screened piece from the Arabesque Bracelet made in a previous video. The peacock cane was left over from one of my 2015 dragons. The copper foiled toggle uses leftover clay sheets from the autumn version of the Fantasy Tree Pendant class I just released on CraftArtEdu.com.

fantasy trees beauty autumn

As always, I give you this idea as a jumping off place for your own creativity. Feel free to add slices of cane, texture, or even sculptural elements to make your toggles not only totally unique, but perhaps use as focal points rather than just the clasp on the back.

Tools and Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the How to Make Toggle Clasps With Polymer Clay-Friday Findings Tutorial at YouTube.

Jun 102017
 

I’m excited to announce another of my classes at CraftArtEdu was just released! This is my Fantasy Tree Pendants for All Seasons class.

Click on any of the photos for a closer look.

fantasy trees beauty spirng

You can see a free preview of the class over at CraftArtEdu.com.

In the class you’ll learn how to:

  • Make your own custom cabochons – in any size you need – using paints with unique self-manipulating properties.
  • Add your choice of sparkly inclusions – like metal leaf, iridescent flakes and more – for a truly customized look.
  • Incorporate your cabochons into a lovely sculpted statement necklace!

fantasy trees beauty summer

In this class, I show you how to make a summer pendant (above) full of sparkling splendor. With the techniques you’ll learn along with the templates included, you can go on to make a pendant for fall, winter and spring, too!
fantasy trees beauty autumn

I also show you several additional techniques to enhance the fantasy of your piece including how to:

  • Create a pendant background that sparkles like dappled sunshine.
  • Sculpt a complex-looking tree (using a very easy method!) and add beaded foliage for extra sparkle.
  • Accent your pendant with a twisted rope border for added texture.
  • Embellish your cabochon with beads.
  • Add and decorate a matching bail and finish your necklace with ribbons, chain and beads.

fantasy trees beauty winter

Every technique in this class can be used in so many ways, and your seasonal themed necklaces are just the beginning!

fantasy trees beauty

This class is on sale for $19 instead of $28 through Tuesday, June 13.

Or perhaps fantasy pendants aren’t your thing, but you’d like to learn just the cabochon technique?

We’ve got you covered!

In the Fantasy Cabochons class you’ll learn to use fantasy paint effects and mixed media to make gorgeous cabochons that can be used in a wide variety of projects. No need to search for the perfect cabochon when you can make your own!
ftree (26)

  • Create intriguing cabochons – in any size you need – using paints with unique self-manipulating properties.
  • Add your choice of sparkly inclusions – like metal leaf, iridescent flakes and more – for a truly customized look.
  • Mimic the look of opals, and customize colors to enhance your projects!

ftree (18)

I include lots of tips, hints and tricks to ensure your cabochons look amazing! This technique is quite addictive, so be sure to experiment with colors, sizes, shapes and inclusions.

This class is on sale for $12 instead of $18 through Tuesday, June 13.

Please note: This class is included in the Fantasy Tree Pendants for All Seasons class above. If you want to take this fantasy technique a step further, consider purchasing that class instead!

In case some were on your wish list, my other classes are on sale through Tuesday as well.

Happy creating!

Jun 092017
 

diy steampunk texture sheet

Last December I made a video for you all showing how to make polymer clay cell phone holders. If you haven’t made them yet you should know that they were and are a big hit. My husband, sons and I all still use ours. They’re just a really great design with a small footprint and easy to use.

At the time I made a steampunk texture sheet to texture my husband’s. Several of you have asked me to show you how I made the texture sheet, and that’s what this video is all about.

You may need to experiment with the thickness of clay that you use in your pasta machine to get the best impression. One thing I’ve found that I can’t quite figure out is that the shapes tend to elongate and stretch as they run through the pasta machine, even if I keep the two pieces separate right before they hit the rollers I still end up with oval-shaped gears. Just gently stretching the clay in the opposite direction will round them back out again.

I love making my own texture sheets because I know that this makes my projects completely unique. Of course, you don’t have to just use gears and make steampunk texture. Try using all manner of household objects. How about paperclips? Or nuts and bolts? Impressions from cutlery such as forks, knives and spoons? I’ve even seen some really cool texture sheets made using pasta!

So I hope you have fun, take this idea and run with it and make it your own.

Tools and Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the DIY Steampunk Texture Sheet for Polymer Clay Tutorial-Friday Findings video at YouTube.

Jun 022017
 

ff apoxie sculpt

Have you ever noticed that musicians usually play more than one musical instrument? Or that folks who do crafts rarely have just one project going? I think this is a mark of all creative people that we want to explore the horizons of our chosen field and that means trying as many different media as we possibly can.

Although my focus for the last several years has been working in polymer clay, looking back now I can see that no matter what I worked in, whether it was quilting, scrapbooking, card making or something else, I always found myself drawn to the sculptural elements.

So when the opportunity to try a new sculpting material came along, I went for it!

In today’s Friday Findings video I’m going to tell you all about what I’ve learned regarding working with Apoxie Sculpt clay.

One of the things I forgot to mention in the video is that you can only color the white so dark. If you are going for a dark color I suggest you add paint to get it close to that color, and then paint over it after the clay has hardened.

As I mentioned in the video I colored my Apoxie Sculpt clay with acrylic paints, but I encourage you to try other colorants such as  mica powders, chalk pastels, oil paints, or maybe even alcohol ink. I don’t know how all of these will react with the clay but it will be fun to experiment and find out.

Tools & Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the How to Use Apoxie Sculpt Clay-Friday Findings Tutorial at YouTube.

May 192017
 

ff controlling blend width cover (1)

In the interest of full disclosure I feel obligated to let you all know that I bought the 7/8-inch dowel I use in the video at least a year ago, maybe more. It has been quietly leaning in a corner of my studio all that time. Occasionally I would look at it and say, “Oh yeah, I should mark that and bring it down the basement and cut it up….”

…. but I never did. I don’t know why. My husband taught me how to safely use his chop saw, and I’ve used it many times before. In fact, I kind of like using it, as it makes me feel rather powerful!

Anyhow, the dowel got taken out of its corner when I cleaned the carpets in my studio and hubby offered to cut it up for me. So I quickly marked it and gave it to him. He cut the pieces and even sanded the ends for me. (Maybe that’s why I was putting it off? I hate sanding, and knew it would need to be done as well. Hmmmm….. funny thing, the subconscious mind.)

So, I was thrilled when I sat down to experiment with my new tools and found how wonderfully they work. Thrilled, and truly annoyed with myself for putting it off for so long, lol.  

All that babble to say, if you use Skinner blends at all, you NEED to make yourself the simple tools I show in the video. 🙂

One thing I didn’t mention in the video is that the end of the dowel next to the clay in the machine will get clay smeared on it. When you are done just lay a baby wipe on the table and scrub the end of the dowel over it and it will be clean and ready for next time.

skinner blend limiters in canning jar

Oh, and here’s how I decided to store them to keep ’em corralled and from rolling all about. All five fit nicely in a half-pint canning jar. The smallest two are stacked on each other. 

There isn’t really much of a supply list to go with this project, but here are a few things you might find helpful:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the How To Control the Width of Polymer Clay Blends-Friday Findings Tutorial at YouTube.