Nov 182015
 

snowman charms

Welcome to week three of our Christmas Charms series. I hope you are enjoying getting to know these polymer clay techniques. This week we’re making a cute little snowman.

In the video I show you how to make life easier by building your charm in sections and prebaking the pieces. I also show a neat trick for making the hat band easily, rather than fiddling with tiny strips of clay. (I tried that, not fun!)

Each week I’ve been trying to show you different ways to add interest and texture to your projects. Feel free to switch them up: you could apply the flocking to a mitten, or add the knitted texture to the Christmas stocking. Of course, you can flock just about anything. 😀

If you’re thinking about doing more flocking, this might be a fun set, Martha Stewart Crafts Glitter Flocking Powder, 12-Pack. There are also small packages such as Nail Art Velvet Flocking Powder on Amazon for nail art. (Are people flocking their nails these days? Apparently so.)

If you can’t find flocking, you could add Perfect Pearls or even try embossing powders.  (If you decide to add Perfect Pearls, you don’t need to add the TLS first, btw. Mica powders stick just fine to unbaked clay and then stay on after baking. )

Experiment and see what works. 🙂

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Flocked Snowman-Christmas Charms Week 3-Polymer Clay Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Here are links to the previous videos in the series:

Nov 162015
 

agate dangle earrings

I love finding new and unexpected uses for jewelry findings and these earrings are a great example of that. Usually a multi-hole connector is used for multi-strand bracelets or necklaces, but today I’m using them to make multi-dangle earrings. Why not? 🙂

The warm shades of the agates next to the cool tones of the silver findings gives a subdued, sophisticated tone. They would be much brighter and flashier paired with gold or copper accents, which would be nice, too!

Agates come in lots of different shades and patterns. Here are a few you might like:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Agate Dangle Earrings Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Materials:

  • 2 3-hole connectors
  • 14 6mm agate beads
  • 10 3mm silver spacer beads
  • 12 4mm x 6mm saucer shaped spacer beads
  • 2 6mm x 10 mm gemstone roundel beads
  • 6 head pins
  • 2 eye pins
  • 2 ear wires

Tools:

  • chain nose pliers
  • 1-Step Looper or:
    • round nose pliers &
    • wire cutters

Directions:

  1. Onto all six head pins string a 3mm spacer, an agate bead, a saucer spacer, an agate bead and a saucer spacer. On two of the head pins add an additional agate bead. These two will be the longer, center dangles.
  2. Use the 1-Step Looper or round nose pliers and wire cutters to make a loop with remaining wire of of all six head pins.
  3. Open the loops and attach them to the 3-hole side of the connectors, with the longer dangles in the centers.
  4. Onto each eye pin slide a 3mm spacer, a 6mm x 10mm roundel and a 3mm spacer. Make a loop with remaining wire of eye pin.
  5. Attach one loop of each eye pin to the single loop side the the connector. Attach the other loop of each eye pin to an ear wire to complete the earrings.

 

 

Nov 132015
 

ff bench blocks (1)

If you are going to do any kind of wire or sheet metal hammering or shaping, then you definitely need a surface to pound on!

That’s all a bench block is, a surface on which to do hammering or forming. The type of surface you need is determined by what you are trying to accomplish. In the video I show you my three most used bench blocks and give some tips on how to use & care for them.

They are:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Friday Findings-Bench Blocks video over at YouTube.

Nov 122015
 

This week’s dragon is another that’s been on my inspiration list for quite some time. A couple years ago I made this kaleidoscope cane lizard, and hoped to make a dragon the same way, someday.

dragon #47 Felicity 1

Click on any of the photos for a closer look.

I used the same general guidelines from Almu Mendelbaum’s Flickr stream for a kaleidoscope cane, but added a few more pieces and put them together my own way.

purple kaleidoscope cane

I posted the finished cane on Instagram on Monday. There’s still half of it left and I’m so glad, because it came out really nice!

This post at Creator’s Joy gives you the steps for turning a cane into a veneer to cover a lizard (or seahorse) shape.

dragon #47 Felicity 2

For the wings I wanted something similar, but not exactly the same, so I made a Stroppel cane. You can see how it’s done by the designer herself, Alice Stroppel, who figured out this clever way to use up old cane bits and pieces.

People have taken this idea and RUN with it! Check out this Pinterest search for Stroppel cane.

dragon #47 Felicity 3

If you’d like to see my other dragon creations so far, I’ve made a Thursday’s Dragon Pinterest boardjust for them.

dragon #47 Felicity 4

Felicity’s castle was base coated with a deep purple and then covered with a crackled white. The gold accents were done with Inca Gold Gilder’s paste.

Check out this post on Errol, dragon #1, for the details on why I am making a dragon every week in 2015. Only five more to go!

Nov 112015
 

christmas charms mittens

Welcome to week two of my new series here at my blog and on my YouTube channel. For the next few weeks I’ll be showing how to make your own miniature Christmas charms out of polymer clay. If you missed the first week, you can find it here: Christmas Stockings-Christmas Charms Week 1

This week’s little mittens have a texture that resembles knitting. It’s quite simple to do and no knitting needles required. 🙂

Here is the mitten pattern in pdf, if you don’t want to draw one yourself. 🙂

The last of the series will be during the first week in December and I’ll show you how to make your charms into a cute bracelet. Of course, you can apply these techniques to many different projects.

If you don’t have an extruder but are thinking of getting one, here is one that worked well for me: Walnut Hollow Clay Extruder. I’ve since moved on to a far more expensive model (the Lucy Clay Czextruder, I love it!) but it’s not necessary for the beginning clayer.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!


You can watch the Knitted Mittens-Christmas Charms Week 2-Polymer Clay Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Here is the link to the previous video in the series:

Christmas Stockings-Christmas Charms Week 1-Polymer Clay Video Tutorial

Nov 092015
 

turquoise nugget necklace

This week’s necklace has a subtle southwestern vibe. It started with the chunky turquoise nuggets, and then I found a pendant in my stash that accented them perfectly. Or perhaps I should say they accented it. Either way I think the combination is wonderful, and as bold as the necklace is, it went together very quickly.

It’s funny how finding all the right components for a design goes sometimes. I had hurt my back and had a rough several days of it. When it was time to plan my next video I quickly pulled out these pieces without much thought or really caring how well it all worked.

Then, after the necklace was done, I looked at it and said, “Love!”

I’m wearing it now as I type. 🙂

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Turquoise Nugget Statement Necklace Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Materials

  • 45 mm flower pendant
  • six turquoise nugget beads, 10 mm to 30 mm across
  • 6 12 mm spiral cage beads
  • six eye pins
  • chain to finish your necklace
  • clasp

Tools

Directions

  1. Slide an eye pin through each of the turquoise nuggets and use round nose pliers or One Step Looper to finish other ends into a loop.
  2. Use the loops to connect spiral beads with nuggets, alternating. If necessary cut a small piece of necklace chain to hang pendant between two center nuggets.
  3. Attach lengths of chain to either end of necklace and attach clasp to finish.
Nov 062015
 

ff thread heaven

You may have seen this tiny blue box at your local craft store and paid it no attention. But I’m here to tell you that you NEED this stuff.

If you’ve ever fought with threads tangling, knotting or fraying while stringing beads or doing hand sewing you’re going to love this.

In the video I’ll tell you all about thread conditioner and show you how to use it. Below are links to two different brands. I’ve only tried the Thread Heaven, but the other one sounds like it does the same thing, plus, the container looks like it might be easier to use.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Friday Findings-Thread Conditioner video over at YouTube.

Nov 052015
 

dragon #46 Doyle 1

A steampunk dragon has been on my to-do list from the very beginning of this weekly polymer clay challenge. I don’t know why it took me until week 46 to do it. He was so much fun!

If you’d like to see my other dragon creations so far, I’ve made a Thursday’s Dragon Pinterest boardjust for them.

dragon #46 Doyle 2

Doyle started out as an aluminum foil body and neck. That not only saves on clay but makes the baking time for a larger sculpture more reasonable.  The thickest part of his body is 2 inches thick, and baking at 30 minutes for every 1/4-inch would mean four hours of baking!

He still needed 90 minutes because of the 3/4-inch thickness of his tail.

Doyle is about 6 inches from his nose to the bend in his tail, and 5 inches tall from the table to the tips of his horns.

Click on any of the photos for a closer look.

steampunk gears

I shared this image on Instagram on Monday, giving a sneak peek of his tail at the top. 🙂

My friends who repair clocks for a living were kind enough to give me a box full of old parts and pieces. I sorted them all into this box.

It’s kind of a fun challenge to dig through and decide what can be used where.

dragon #46 Doyle 3

For the metallic colors I used Perfect Pearls and Gilder’s Pastes.

Check out this post on Errol, dragon #1, for the details on why I am making a dragon every week in 2015.

dragon #46 Doyle 4

The wings came out amazing, imho. 😀  The clock hands bent slightly, so I could give each wing a bit of a curve.

That cool square texture on the wings is from a sanding mesh, found in the paint section. It’s fun to poke around in the hardware store and then bring this weird assortment of things to the checkout. The guys just look at me, certain I have no idea what I’m doing. haha

dragon #46 Doyle 5

Isn’t he the cutest thing with his funny goggles and windup tail?

Nov 042015
 

This week I’m introducing a new series here at my blog and on my YouTube channel. For the next five weeks I’ll be showing how to make your own miniature charms out of polymer clay.

At the end of the five weeks I’ll show you how to put them all together into a cute charm bracelet.

christmas charms stocking

This week’s project is this simple Christmas stocking. In the video I give tips on keeping white clay clean and show how simple it is to add a fluffy texture. I also have a nifty trick for using a coffee stirrer to make holly leaves!

You could scale up everything and make ornaments or package toppers. Make two for a pair of earrings, or just string one onto a pretty ribbon for a necklace.

If you are new to polymer clay, here are a few tools I’ve found quite helpful:

Whatever you decide to do, I hope you enjoy learning how to create with this fun medium. I also have plans for LOTS more polymer clay videos after the new year, so be watching!

Enjoy the video and happy creating. 🙂

You can watch the Christmas Stockings-Christmas Charms Week 1-Polymer Clay Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Nov 022015
 

Crystal Ear Thread Earrings

I’ve been seeing ear threads around for quite some time but never really paid much attention to them until I got a couple pairs for myself. Now, I’m in love. 🙂

I just love how simple they are to make and to wear. The way they work forces you to keep the design simple and yet they can still have a lot of swing and dangle.

If you want to learn a bit more about ear threads check out my Friday Findings video on the topic.

Another thing I love about ear threads is that you can change out the beads so easily you can customize a pair very quickly to match any outfit.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Crystal Ear Thread Earrings Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Materials:

  • 2 3-inch sterling silver ear threads
  • 4 6 mm pearls
  • 2 11 mm x 8 mm teardrop shaped crystals
  • 2 8 mm Swarovski crystal rondelle spacer beads
  • 2 4 mm crystals
  • 2 head pins

Tools:

  • chain nose pliers
  • round nose pliers & wire cutters (or the 1-Step Looper)

Directions:

  1. Onto a head pin slide a 4 mm crystal and a teardrop shaped crystal.
  2. Make a loop at the top and attach to the loop of an ear thread.
  3. Onto the ear thread slide a pearl, a crystal rondelle spacer, and another pearl.
  4. Repeat to make second earring.