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

 

Update:

***This tutorial is now available as a downloadable PDF at my Etsy shop: Fairy Garden Swing***

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.

Sep 072016
 

I’ve done a review of the Vogue 8817 tunic pattern before, only last time I made view C. This time I made view B and it’s become one of my favorite tops.

vogue-8817-color-blocked-top

I really love the princess seams and the color blocked style lines.

One of the great things about this pattern is that you can use up leftover bits and pieces of fabrics. I used a black sweater knit on the sides for their slimming effect and opted to use the same purple bamboo fabric down the two center front pieces, leaving in the seam just for interest.

purple, grey & black top

I like the details of the raw edge strip on the ends of the sleeves, it’s just something different and a little unexpected.

The trickiest part of making this top is getting the binding around the neckline to lie smoothly. My best tip for that is to use perhaps a little less binding than the pattern calls for. Cut it the pattern length, but then ever so gently tug on it as you stitch around the neckline curve. This will help prevent that dreaded rippling and allow it to lie flat. Also, taking a few minutes to hand sew down the folded edge is truly worth it.

purple, grey & black top w scarf

This top fit well out of the package, the only thing I would change is that the neckline was a little bit low for my taste. That’s why you see the photo with the scarf.  It helps fill in what felt like a rather vast expanse of exposed bosom, and also adds some warmth on a coolish fall day.

I highly recommend this pattern and all of its versions. They have interesting lines, are on trend but still classic in feel, easy to sew and comfortable to wear.

Sep 062016
 

beachcomber's bracelet

This bracelet combines several of my favorite things about polymer clay jewelry: texture, surface effects and a multitude of dangles.

The texture comes from creation; I made two-part molds of three collected seashells. I also used a Sculpey mold to make small scallop shells and starfish.

The surface effects are from Perfect Pearls and iridescent paints. I love how these bring the whole piece together.

I’ve been wearing this piece today and think a few Swarovski crystal dangles would not go amiss, either. More glitter and sparkle? Why not?! 😀

There are so many directions you can go with this idea. How about making molds of favorite kids toys, charms, keys or other special objects?

If you don’t know how to make two-part molds, check out my Friday Findings-Making Two-Part Molds video to learn the process. It’s easier than you might think.

Tools and Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Beachcomber Bracelet-Polymer Clay Video Tutorial at YouTube.

Sep 022016
 

Although I’ve been making molds with silicone putty for quite some time I always thought that making two-part molds was difficult and scary. However, I learned there really are just two simple things that you need to do differently than one-part molds to get beautiful two-part molds.

ff 2 part molds

First of all, you need to insert something in the first part in order to make registration marks in the second part. This is most important, otherwise you will not be able to get your molds to line up properly.

Second, you just need to find some way to keep the two halves of the mold from sticking to each other. With molds made of other materials it may be trickier but the silicone molds just need a simple coat of Vaseline. I’ve also seen people dust them with cornstarch or talcum powder.

I was really impressed with how well these seashell molds came out and how realistic they look when you use the correct color of clay and appropriate surface effects.

Don’t forget that you can always manipulate a a piece after molding to change the shape. For example, you could curl up the clam shell and make a different shape shell, or you could flare out the openings of the shells to make them wider or smaller. I’ve often seen face molds manipulated this same  way, where folks use the mold to get a start and then compress and elongate different parts of the face or build up & take down different areas and get something that looks quite unique.

So I hope learning how to make two-part molds will be just the beginning of your creativity.

Personally, I think it’s a wonderful way to take objects that you may only have a limited number of and re-create them as many times as you want!

Tools and Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Friday Findings-How to Make Two-Part Molds video at YouTube.

Sep 012016
 

kris kinderfather dolls (1) kris kinderfather dolls (2)

Wow, this post is WAY overdue. My sincere apologies for taking so long to get this out. Late last year Kris K. shared with me the profusion of dolls that she made with my Topsy-Turvy doll pattern.

kris kinderfather dolls (3)

As you can see she got quite busy and made a whole bunch of them. Anyone who can make TWENTY of these dolls has my respect and admiration.

I love all the different colors, they are all so adorable and she did a wonderful job.

kris kinderfather dolls (4) kris kinderfather dolls (5)

If you’re looking for a nice gift to make for someone special, perhaps for the upcoming holidays, you can check out my free Topsy Turvy doll pattern  Kris says that my “directions were perfect!” So that’s nice to know. 🙂

By the way, someone pointed out that on the pattern the waking doll’s eyelashes are on her eyebrows! Silly me, how did  I never notice that? Anyhow, I know YOU know where they go. 😀

Happy creating, all!

Aug 302016
 

charming owls

Sometimes designs start with the layout and the general look of the piece, but other times they start with the materials.

This necklace started with these really cute ceramic owl beads. I had an idea to make a bracelet with them, but for some reason couldn’t get over the fact that they would be lying sideways around the wrist. (I know, silly, but it’s just how I think.) So I opted for a necklace instead.

This would be a fun design to make with a variety of different animal or other beads that need to go up-and-down like a totem pole. As long as the bead holes are large enough for your twine to go through, the stringing is quite simple.

It’s also fun to dig through your charms and beads and find various things to add to the bottom for dangles.

Have fun making your animal/bead stacked necklace!

Tools and Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Charming Owls Necklace-Jewelry Video Tutorial at YouTube

Aug 262016
 

ff tube bails

As you know I spend quite a bit of time making my own polymer clay pendants, and adding a bit of wire or metal goes a long way to enhancing them.

In today’s video I’m going to introduce you to yet another type of bail that you can purchase or make to match any of your work; they’re called tube bails.

I really like the look of these as they become a part of the design of the piece. They shouldn’t be just stuck on as an afterthought.

You can find tube bails in all sorts of designs, from plain & simple to very, very fancy. I’m particularly partial to ones that are curved as I think they not only enhance the pendants but also flatter the wearer.

Be watching for upcoming Friday Findings videos when I show you how to make your own tube bails out of wire and also out of polymer clay.

Here are a few nice tube bails that I have found online:

The polymer clay pendant with the wire tube bail was made in Sylvie Peraud’s Tribal Pendant class at CraftArtEdu.com.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!


Watch the Friday Findings-Tube Bails video at YouTube.

Aug 242016
 

prismatic pendants

Here’s yet another surface effect for you that can be used in so many different ways. Today I used mica powders but I also experimented with embossing powders, which have a quite different look (more like ceramics) but are a little trickier to control.

You could also try making your deep impression, baking the pendant and then adding effects such as paints or alcohol inks. Then, if you like, you could sand over the top to reveal the original clay color.

Have fun experimenting with this technique!

Tools and Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Prismatic Pendants-Polymer Clay Video Tutorial at YouTube.