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.

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!

Feb 242016
 

springtime nest

If you are new to polymer clay you may not realize that you don’t have to use the clay as it comes right out of the package. Not only can you mix the colors to get your own shades, but you can mix inclusions into the clay to add texture, interest and detail.

For our little spring eggs I added black embossing powder for the fine speckles and poppy seeds from my kitchen for the larger speckles.

The Sculpey SoufflĂ© Robin’s Egg clay color was perfect, so I used that straight from the package.

For the nest made in the video I used 20 gauge bare copper wire.

paisley set 1200

Here’s a shot of how I used the nest in a necklace after giving a liver of sulfur patina.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Springtime Nest-Polymer Clay & Wire Work Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Feb 232016
 

Last November Michelle over at Firefly Design Studio started up a new jewelry design challenge.

paisley ceramics

She made these lovely ceramic paisley components in two different color ways: neutrals and brights. I chose the neutrals.

It was then our job to use all those pieces, along with a bonus lampwork bead from Shannon at BlueBlazes Lampwork (I LOVE that name!) to design a set of jewelry.

paisley necklace 1200

Click on any of the photos for a closer look.

You can see Shannon’s bead below the bird’s nest in the necklace. I made several polymer clay components to go with the ceramics, as well as the wire nest, daisy, tangled ball and the clasp.

I also added the focal dangles to a short length of magatama beaded kumihimo braid.

paisley earrings 1200

I used the head pins and more polymer clay paisleys to make asymmetrical earrings.

paisley bracelet

For the bracelet I made a copper clasp and a round polymer clay component, then strung everything on waxed linen twine.

This bracelet is so comfortable to wear because the paisley piece is curved. And since the clasp is so pretty, it doesn’t matter if the bracelet turns upside down. 🙂

paisley set 1200

And here is my whole set. This is the image that your “like” will count as a vote on, the one with all three pieces together.

Go see all the designs and VOTE on your favorites at the Firefly Design Studio Challenge Group.

It’s so interesting to see the variety of ways these same pieces were used by different designers!

Feb 222016
 

sparkling ombre bracelet

Although this bracelet looks quite fancy, it’s really a simple project to put together. The fun part is choosing all your different beads to get a nice ombrĂ© blend.

Having the beads all the same type: crystals, and having the same spacer between each one gives this piece unity.

The rest is just stringing and adding crimps & crimp covers.

Materials:

Tools:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Sparkling Ombré Bracelet Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Directions:

  1. Cut 3 9-inch pieces bead stringing wire. String on 3 beads of each of the seven colors, each separated by a daisy spacer. Use bead stoppers to hold beads on ends of wire.
  2. Measure strand of beads and add or remove beads so strand is one inch shorter than desired bracelet length.
  3. Repeat pattern of first strand to string other two strands.
  4. Onto one end of a beaded strand slide a crimp and a wire protector. Slide the wire protector onto a loop of a three-hole connector and slide wire end back through the crimp. Use crimping pliers or One Step Crimper to flatten crimp. Trim off excess wire and cover with a crimp cover.
  5. Repeat to add a wire to each hole of three-hole connector. Add other ends of wires to other connector, being sure strands are lying parallel and not twisted.
Feb 192016
 

ff swellegant

You’ve heard me mention Christi Friesen’s Swellegant paints quite often here on my blog and on my YouTube channel, so it was about time that I did a video explaining them!

These paints are wonderful for giving polymer clay and other items a completely different look and feel. Because the paints are real metal coatings, the patinas you achieve are real patinas, not just a faux looking finish.

In this video I give you the basics of how to use the metal coatings and apply the patina. If you want lots more details and ideas, check out Christi’s video, How to Use Swellegant.

These are the products used in the video:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Friday Findings-Swellegant Paints & Patinas video over at YouTube.

Feb 172016
 

faux stamped metal earrings

One thing most polymer clay artists love about this medium is its ability to imitate other materials. Just a quick search for “polymer clay faux” on Pinterest brings up images and/or tutorials for faux gemstones of various types, faux sea glass, faux shell, faux rocks, faux wood, faux snakeskin and even faux lampwork glass.

The earrings in today’s video use a simple technique to imitate weathered and patinaed embossed metal. The wire wrapping frames them and adds to the illusion.

Although I didn’t take the time to do it, feel free to use my liver of sulfur tutorial to add a aged effect to the wires.

Materials:

Tools:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Faux Stamped Metal Earrings-Polymer Clay Tutorial over at YouTube.

Feb 152016
 

stained glass bracelet

Today’s bracelet features these cute tile beads that have only been around for a few years, but, wow, have they caught on! They’re called “tila” beads and are made by the Miyuki company of Japan.

Tila beads are small (4-5mm) square beads each with 2 parallel holes. The two holes allow for a LOT of creativity in bead stringing. Check out this Pinterest search for “tila bead bracelet” and you’ll see what I mean. My favorites are the ones where they turn the beads at an angle.

My design today is fairy simple, but makes a really pretty bracelet that’s lightweight and comfortable to wear.  By the way, I call it the stained glass bracelet because the pink/green coating is called “vitrail,” an old French word for “stained glass.”

damsefly bracelet

If you enjoy this kind of bead work, you may like the Damselfly Bracelet free design over at ArtBeads.com. It’s done a little differently, but looks quite similar. The addition of the little dagger beads instead of the center seed beads really gives a fun look.

Materials:

Tools:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Stained Glass Tila Bead Bracelet Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Feb 122016
 

ff tila beads

Tila beads are one of those simple little jewelry components with oh-so-much creative potential.

They are just 5x5mm square beads with two parallel holes, but wow, all the different ways they can be combined together….

tila bead pins

I’ve made a Tila Bead Idea Pinterest board with a few clever ideas that I’ve pinned. My favorites are the ones where the beads are turned on the diagonal.

In the video I’ll give a bit more detail about these beads. You definitely want to give them a try!

A few examples of the tilas out there:

If you’d like to learn more, here is an interesting interview of the designer of the Czechmates System. She shows many examples of her work and explains how all the beads work together.

Enjoy the video and happy creating.

You can watch the Friday Findings-Tila Beads video over at YouTube.

Feb 102016
 

custom button pendant

Believe it or not that floral pendant in the above photo is made from polymer clay, not metal!

Not only that, but it took very little time to make. In this video I’ll show you how easy it is to make a mold of  a button, or any found object, and then paint and color it to create your own personalized jewelry components.

I highly recommend that you find several items to make impressions of and paint, as it can be hard to know which ones will be your favorites when all done. 🙂

Here are a few of the products used in this project:

If you’d like more info on how to get the great patinaed look with Swelligant paints, this video is very helpful: How to Use Swelligant with Christi Friesen.

Happy creating and enjoy the video!

You can watch the Custom Button Pendants-Polymer Clay Tutorial over at YouTube.