Oct 112016

This week I have for you part two in making this cute autumn themed candle holder.

autumn silhouette owl

It was really fun going through my selection of small cutters and finding ways to combine the shapes to make just what I needed. I spent quite a bit of time trying to cut out the triangle eyes and nose from the pumpkin with the craft knife before I realized that the heart cutter would work perfectly.

autumn silhouette pumpkin

My favorite section of this candleholder is the cat, but that shouldn’t come as any surprise to those of you who know me. I doubt that you have ever seen me put a dog on any of my projects, but I do love the kitty cats!

autumn silhouette cat

Don’t ever be afraid to try using things in new and unexpected ways. ūüôā

Tools & Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Autumn Silhouettes Candle Holder Part 2-Polymer Clay Tutorial at YouTube.

Oct 072016

ff ceramic beads

There are so many different types of jewelry supplies and beads out there available to use. That’s one of the things I find so fascinating about creating and designing jewelry.

In order to use any particular material to the best advantage it’s good to understand its own unique properties.

In today’s Friday Findings video I will give you some tips on using ceramic beads so that your jewelry will last longer and hang properly.

 Tools and Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Friday Findings-Tips For Using Ceramic Beads video at YouTube.

Oct 042016

autumn silhouette cat

Here’s a fun fall project for you without anything ghoulish or gory, just cuteness!

I’ve always been fascinated by silhouette designs and thought it would be fun to create a candle holder with the silhouettes as the primary focus.

For the candle holder I used a stemless wine glass. You could also reuse one of those jar candles, or even make a small version on a votive holder.

autumn silhouette pumpkin

My favorite thing about this piece is how the cut-out eyes glow in the candlelight. Later I may add a dab of yellow or orange alcohol ink inside the eyes to make them really stand out.

In the video I show how to use basic Kemper cutter shapes to create more complex shapes. If your clay is being difficult to cut, you might want to flatten and shape your heads, then let the clay sit for a while. It will be easier to cut after a rest of an hour or so.

autumn silhouette owl

I also show how you can create texture using unexpected tools like those for leather, wax or dentistry.

Keep in mind that you can certainly use colored clay, the silhouettes will still be there when the candle is lit. I’m toying with the idea of accenting my textures with some Gilders paste. If I do, I’ll be sure to share a photo.

Don’t be afraid of the long list of tools, once you have them you’ll find many different uses!

Tools & Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Autumn Silhouettes Candle Holder-Polymer Clay Video Tutorial at YouTube.

Sep 302016

ff managing soft clay (1)

One of my strongest held beliefs about craftsmanship is that whatever medium you choose to work in order to get really good at what you do you have to have an excellent understanding of the material.

Whether you work in fabric, wood, glass, ceramic, paper, metal, or even polymer clay, knowing what your material can and cannot do, knowing and understanding its abilities and limitations only aids you in doing your best possible work.

Today’s Friday Findings video is about controlling the consistency of your polymer clay. There are some clays that are just naturally much softer than others. There are some that are so soft and sticky that it can be very difficult to get them to hold any detail at all. It really depends on what it is you want to do. But there are times when you want your clay to be more firm than it is coming out of the package.

In today’s video I¬†show you how to leach your clay so that it’s firmer and easier to work with. It’s a simple process and it’s good to understand just what is going on.


In fact, I recently came across this tutorial from Polyform which requires you to leach your clay in order to make it crumbly so that you get the desired effect of lichen on tree bark.

You’ll find that knowing how and when to control the consistency of your clay will be very helpful in making the kinds of pieces you envision.

Tools & Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Friday Findings-How to Deal With Soft Polymer Clay video tutorial at YouTube.

Sep 272016

copper dome earrings

It is so satisfying to take a simple blank piece of metal and with the application of a few tools turn it into something quite unique and beautiful. I suppose it ¬†would’ve been more satisfying only if I had mined the ore and¬†rolled the sheet metal myself. ūüôā

Perhaps at first glance you might think that today’s earring design is far beyond your available skills or tools, but in the video I show you how you can make them with simple supplies that you can get at your local craft store. Of course, below I will provide online links to the things you need as well.

Also in the video you’ll see what I mean when I say, “make visual decisions visually.” I started out with an initial idea on how I wanted to use my glass beads, but after laying them out realized I needed to change things a bit to achieve a nice design.

Tools & Materials:

In the video I reference a few other videos I’ve made showing helpful techniques:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Copper Dome Earrings-Metal Jewelry Video Tutorial at YouTube.

Sep 232016

ff conditioning clay

Conditioning polymer clay is one of those things you read about in any polymer clay basics section of a book or article. But what exactly is it, why exactly do we need to do it and, more importantly, how do we know we’ve done it right?

In today’s video I’ll answer all of those questions plus show you a few different ways you can condition your clay.

Sometimes you will come across a block of clay that is very hard and crumbly and just Won’t be conditioned no matter what you do. Personally, I am of the “life is too short” school of thought and don’t spend too much time trying to bring back difficult clay.

I figure that if I spend an hour attempting to revive a $3 block of clay, then I’ve made $3 an hour, which is definitely not worth my time. But, if you’d like more information on just how you can condition hard clay, Ginger Davis Allman over at the BlueBottleTree.com has a great blog post on the subject.

Tools used for conditioning:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Friday Findings-All About Condition Polymer Clay video at YouTube.

Sep 202016

jeweled bezels

When I first saw these bezels at my local craft store I knew immediately what I wanted to do with them. The first thing was to pop out the acrylic rhinestones. Then I stuck one bezel in the oven with a load of polymer clay to make sure that they truly were metal and not acrylic, as sometimes is the case.

It took a bit of experimenting to get the look I wanted, but I’m quite pleased with how these came out. If I had to do it over the only thing I would change would be to use less green and more blue.

Have you noticed that I’ve been on a blue/turquoise kick lately? I can’t seem to stop using it. Don’t worry, that will probably pass and then I’ll be on to a different color obsession. ūüôā

Of course, this technique can be used to make any sort of jewelry or even home dec. As you saw in the video, I was able to pop my newly created cabochons out of the bezels after adding the resin-those that were not super glued in first.

So you could make cabochons to use to decorate other objects, but I wouldn’t recommend putting the resin back in the oven. Sometimes it turns amber even at low¬†polymer clay temperatures.

Tools and Materials

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Jeweled Bezels-Polymer Clay Jewelry Tutorial video at YouTube.

Sep 162016

ff baking pc (1)

For a while I’ve been noticing a lot of poor information out there on how to bake your polymer clay. Now there are lots of different ways of doing it, some people bake in a bed of baking soda or cornstarch, some people use a dedicated toaster oven, some even line dedicated ovens with baking stones so that they have even heat.

Controlling the temperature that you bake your clay at is very, very important, but there’s another aspect to this that is just as important. And that’s the issue of how much time you bake your clay.

Now it is true that if you put a piece of clay in the oven for 10 minutes it will be hard to the touch after that time. But I’m going to show you today why that is absolutely not long enough.

Actually, as long as the temperature does not go higher than the manufacturer recommends you can bake your clay for as long as you want and it won’t harm it. Some lighter colors may darken over time, so you’ll need to watch that.

fairy garden swing

Fairy Garden Swing by Sandy Huntress, full tutorial can be found in September/October 2016 issue of Polymer Café magazine.

I put one of my recent projects, the fairy swing that was published in the latest Polymer Café magazine, in the oven late at night and went to bed forgetting all about it. At 2:30 in the morning, five hours after putting it in, I woke up and remembered to take it out.

It was perfectly fine, it’s likely the strongest piece I’ve ever made!

Tools and Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Friday Findings-Baking Polymer Clay video at YouTube.

Sep 132016

autumn jewels

This necklace project was the result of a lot of playing around and experimenting, much of which I show in the video. I started out with just the general idea of making some similar elements on a wire jig and then connecting them together with beads to make a necklace.

It certainly wasn’t my intent to make something autumn themed, but the timing couldn’t have been better!

In the video I mention two Friday Findings videos I’ve¬†done previously, one on¬†wire jigs and the other is on pinch bails. Click on the links to check them out if you haven’t seen those videos¬†already.

I hope that this video will not only give you the directions for making a project, but will also give helpful tips for creating your own designs.

Tools and Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Autumn Jewels Necklace-Jewelry Video Tutorial at YouTube.

Sep 092016

ff bezels

I’ve had a bit of a fascination with bezels of all types lately, I think it’s because I’ve been collecting ideas for ways to fill them. More specifically, ways to fill them with polymer clay techniques, surface effects and especially little sculpted clay scenes.

In today’s video I just talk about the bezels, but be watching in the future for different ways to fill them.

Also be watching for future videos on how to make polymer clay bezels yourself. If you want to learn how to make a very organic polymer clay bezel check out my Fantasy Bezels series.

Here are a few of the bezels I show in the video, and also a few others to choose from.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Friday Findings-All About Bezels video at YouTube.