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 132017
 

feathered fringe earrings cover

Although I have an Evernote folder called “Jewelry Video Inspiration” full of nearly 300 ideas,  sometimes it’s just more fun to pull out my supplies and see what happens.

Today’s earrings are actually a combination of an inspiration photo and searching through my stash for interesting things.

The feather charms on these earrings come attached to chain from the craft store, complete with jump rings, yay. Today I use them as is, but it would also be fun to color them with alcohol inks, embossing powders, Gilders pastes or the like. The same holds true for my hammered oval rings, although I used them just the way they came they could be also colored in a multitude of ways.

I really like the little hints of color that the mini dagger beads add. If you want to add more of these types of beads to your earrings one way to do it would be to add several more jump rings with the beads to the links of chain.

As I mentioned in the video, if this type of earring is not your style, a single unit of this design would make a great necklace pendant.

I hope you have fun adapting this design to your own supplies and taste.

Tools and Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Feathered Fringe Boho Gypsy Earrings Jewelry Tutorial video 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 062017
 

china girl bracelet cover

Today’s project is simple one that would be great to do with a child, such as a daughter or granddaughter. It consists of a length of hand dyed silk ribbon, a few silver plated bead caps and some 1.5 mm hole Chinese porcelain beads. It’s the large hole that allows the ribbon to go through the beads easily. The holes on the bead caps are a little smaller, so don’t use too many as they are rather rough on the ribbon.

I used ribbon ends, jump rings, chain and a clasp to finish my bracelet. But if you were doing it with a child you could keep it much simpler by leaving longer ends of the ribbon and just tying them in a bow around the wrist.

As I mentioned in the video you could also just as easily make this project into a necklace. You follow the exact same steps except leave it longer.

Tools and Materials:

  • Silk ribbon
  • Porcelain beads (be sure the hole is at least 1.5 mm)
  • Silver plated bead caps (check the hole size in these as well)
  • Ribbon ends to suit the width of your ribbon
  • Jump rings
  • 1 inch of chain
  • Clasp
  • E6000 glue
  • Flat nose pliers
  • Chain nose pliers

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the China Girl Bracelet – Bead Jewelry Tutorial 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 302017
 

seahorse necklace cover

It probably won’t come as a big surprise to those of you who have been following me for a while to find out that this necklace started with the ceramic seahorse beads. I find interesting and creative materials to be so inspiring!

Although I’m really happy with the way the seahorse and multiple strands came out on this necklace, I’m not sure if I’m totally thrilled with the large lampwork bead. I don’t know that I  achieved the visual balance I was looking for. Let me know in the comments what you think.

Of course you could use this design as the basis for designing with any beads that you have. This is another fun one for going through your stash and seeing what you can find that works together.

I’m actually rethinking my issue with having the seahorses go sideways around my wrist. (I know, it’s silly.) One thing I love about these flat types of beads is that they make extremely comfortable bracelets. If I do something with my three remaining seahorse beads I’ll be sure to post it on Facebook and Instagram for you to see.

Tools and Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Seahorse Necklace-Beaded Beading Jewelry Tutorial at YouTube.

May 262017
 

ff dollarbeadbox

This week I have something a little different for Friday Findings, it’s a review of a bead subscription service called Dollar Bead Box. Sounds like fun, getting a box of beads in the mail every month!

I also will show you what comes in their Dollar Bead Bags, which is a subscription for Czech fire polished beads. I have to admit that I liked them so much immediately after recording the video I used two of the strands in a project!

If you use a lot of beads and are interested in trying new and different things, perhaps things you might overlook otherwise, you may want to give them a try. 

Dollar Bead Box sent me their May 2017 box to try out and review, and I have arranged with them to give away three more boxes to my YouTube subscribers.

You’ll just need to fill out the Rafflecopter form below. Be sure to give me an email address that you check regularly, and be sure to check it next week, on June 6th. in case you won. 🙂 Winners have 48 hours to get back to me with their mailing address before I draw other names.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Bead Subscription Dollar Bead Box Review-Friday Findings at YouTube.

May 232017
 

seascape necklace cover

When you work with polymer clay,  whether experimenting, trying new techniques or just generally playing with it, you will necessarily end up with a lot of unfinished pieces. Some of these pieces aren’t really worth finishing but are often worth saving just to use as tests in other projects.

Sometimes, though, some really nice pieces get tossed into the junk pile. Or sometimes there are pieces that you hate when you make them, but like better later on.

In today’s video I pulled a piece that I really liked out of one my many boxes of polymer clay bits and pieces and showed you how I finished it, fashioning a necklace that I’m really happy with and love wearing.

Many of you have said that you like my tutorials where I walk you through the design choices and decision making that happens before I create a piece, so I hope you enjoy today’s video.

Tools and Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Seascape Necklace-Beaded Jewelry Tutorial video at YouTube.