Sep 082017
 

Did you know that I made a Friday Findings video on cable chain over a year ago? It made me wonder why I had put off making any more videos in a series on chains.

ff curb chain

The only conclusion I can come to is that I thought there wouldn’t be much of interest to say about it. Wow, was I wrong there!

curb chain fmg

Studying these chains, their uses and the history of word “curb” was fascinating! I’ll never look at curb chain as “just plain old chain” again. 

curb chain artbeads

You can also get good deals on Amazon.com, just be sure to double check the quality.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the What is Curb Chain And Why Is It Called That? Friday Findings Tutorial video at YouTube.

Sep 052017
 

The simplicity and ease of using purchased molds is always enticing. But it wars with the rebel/creative person in me who wants her work to look completely unique and not like anybody else’s.

altered bezels cover

The wonderful thing about clay is that you can still shape it even after pressing it into a mold!

We can use this to our advantage while creating bezels that perfectly fit our molded cabochons, but then customizing them with various tools after removing them from the molds.

One thing I forgot to mention in the video is that I like to use my clay blade after adding the texture to straighten up the edges of the bezel.

Just hold your blade perpendicular to the work surface and gently press it along the edges to straighten them. (I did this at one point in the video, but didn’t really explain how to do it after adding your textures.)

Another way of customizing your bezels would be to bake them in the molds, keeping their perfect shape, and then add decoration such as the beaded border I showed, and bake again. I may explore these possibilities in another video.

Tools & Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Altered Bezels for Polymer Clay Cabochons Tutorial video at YouTube.

Sep 012017
 

Have you tried bead weaving? If you have or if you’ve done any work at all with seed beads then you are probably aware that there are a whole variety of needles out there called “beading needles.

ff beading needles cover

In today’s video I show several of the most popular different types of beading needles, explain their pluses and minuses, similarities and differences AND you’ll get to see the disgraceful state of my own beading needles!

Here are links to the needles I showed in the video:

Below are tutorials for all of the bracelets I showed at the beginning of the video, along with a few other beading project just for fun!

Some of the designs are free online and some of the designers are charging a few dollars for their patterns. I can assure you the paid patterns are well worth it, as these designers put a lot of time, expertise and trial and error into working out these projects for you.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the How to Choose the Right Needle for Bead Weaving & Seed Beads-Friday Findings Tutorial video at YouTube.

Aug 292017
 

Laying down alternating strips of surface effects to make a polymer clay veneer is a technique that is a lot of fun. As I mentioned in the video I spent a couple hours just doing the few cabochons that I showed on camera today.

crackle veneer cover

I took a closer look at them all after making the video and decided that I want to do even more experimenting and maybe make a few in a variety of shapes that will go together in a cluster to make a large statement pendant.

If you don’t have a stash of polymer clay technique sheets, now is a good time to pick a few that you’ve been wanting to try! Play and experiment and then put them together to see what combinations you like.

A few possibilities to try would be:

crackle veneers insta

Of course, there are lots, lots more.

A quick YouTube search for “polymer clay surface technique” will keep you busy for days, if not weeks and months!

I’ve use these Sculpey cabochon molds several times but have yet to use the bezel mold. That will be next up in my own experimenting, and of course for a video tutorial.

Tools and Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the How to Make Polymer Clay Cabochons with Crackle & Surface Effect Veneers video at YouTube.

Aug 252017
 

Products that do the job well AND save us money are always a plus in my book!

ff resuable mold plastic

Although I greatly enjoy using silicone molding putty in many, many projects, I was intrigued to hear there was a molding plastic out there that could be melted down after every use and reused.

Sadly, I have many silicone molds that I used only one time, or that didn’t come out well. I’d love to be able to have that material back!

In today’s video I will show you how to use Instamorph moldable plastic. I’ll also show you a way you probably shouldn’t use it!

You’ll also learn a list of pros and cons for it as compared to silicone molding putty.

Tools and Materials:

If you find the idea of moldable plastic intriguing, this link brings you to several similar products, some of which are colored for making objects out of them.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Reusuable Low-Temp Melt Plastic for Polymer Clay & Resin Molds & Molding-Friday Findings video at YouTube.

Aug 222017
 

Ever since the first time I got crackles on a piece of polymer clay ( I think it was by accident) I’ve been fascinated with the look and the concept.

crackled effects cover

One of my go-to techniques for creating an interesting finish on polymer clay is to simply add a sheet of metallic leaf to a sheet of clay and then run it through the pasta machine:

  1. once in one direction
  2. then turn 90°
  3. make setting slightly thinner
  4. run though in other direction

This gives you sparkling, even crackles in both directions.

I’ve also been seeing a lot of clay on clay crackles lately and wanted to explore this. The chunky crackles look especially cool and I’ll be sharing how to do those soon.

crackled effects

The dreamy, atmospheric looking crackles in the center of the above photo were done by folding and then rolling the sheet through the pasta machine a few more times after the initial crackling. As I mention in the video, this would be a gorgeous background for a landscape or beach scene.

Keep in mind that you likely will have to clean your pasta machine well after doing this!

In today’s video I’ll show you how to get a fine crackle effect on polymer clay and also explain the variables so you can understand and control them as you experiment.

Next week I’ll show you a way of using these crackled sheets to make beautiful cabochons.

Tools and Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the How to Get Crackle Effects in Polymer Clay Tutorial video at YouTube.

Aug 182017
 

Do you find yourself in kind of a rut when it comes to choosing elements for your jewelry? I know that I often gravitate towards the same colors, shapes and styles, which isn’t always a good thing, especially not if you want to stretch your creativity.

ff august 2017 bead box

That’s why I love the Dollar Bead Box subscription service. It challenges me because so many times when I go shopping for beads I often will skip over things that I’m not sure what I would do with or things at first glance I just don’t care for.

These assortments are great because they make you think in different ways, challenge you to get creative with the supplies you have and therefore make new discoveries.

If you are interested, there are two different subscriptions available:

And even if you don’t go with a monthly bead subscription, consider choosing beads and findings that are out of your comfort zone the next time you go shopping!

Be watching next week for a project made using items from Dollar Bead Boxes.

Watch the Bead & Jewelry Findings Unboxing-August 2017 Dollar Bead Box Subscription-Friday Findings video at YouTube.

Aug 152017
 

Have you ever purchased beads or charms just because you liked them, but without any idea what you were going to use them for?

starfish charms earrings cover

Since I don’t have unlimited funds I try not to purchase things without at least an idea of what I’m going to do with them, but sometimes you just have to go for it and trust that the ideas will come later!

That’s what I did with these starfish beads. I purchase them at Michael’s, they come on a strand of 12 beads, four each in antique copper, antique gold and antique silver finish.

They would make a really cute dangly charm bracelet just by stringing them onto head pins with some other beads and hanging them all from a bracelet chain, but that seemed kind of obvious and I’ve made lots and lots of charm bracelets.

Sooooooo….

In today’s video I give you ideas for using many of your beads and charms in unique ways and I’ll also give you tips for making your earrings hang nicely and keep your charms facing the way you want them to.

Tools and Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Starfish Charm Earrings-Jewelry Design Tutorial video at YouTube.

Aug 112017
 

In response to your viewer questions on several different polymer clay videos I’ve made today’s video. Hope you find it helpful!

ff polymer on glass

There seems to be some confusion about dealing with polymer clay:

  • when placed on non-porous surfaces like glass
  • and how to manage it after baking.

I hope that today’s video clears it all up for you, but please feel free to contact me if you have any other questions or concerns.

Here are links to the videos I mention and also some of the supplies I like to use.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the How to Keep Polymer Clay Stuck on Glass/Non-Porous Objects-Friday Findings Tutorial video at YouTube.

Aug 082017
 

All the lovely strands of Czech fire polish beads that I’ve received in recent months from my Dollar Bead Bag subscription are what got me started on today’s bracelet.

I knew they would look really pretty together as a multi-strand bracelet.

summer gypsy bracelet cover

Using a slide/tube clasp keeps the design simple and the focus on the beads. I added in just a few copper spacer beads to fill out the strands and tie all five of them together. The colors were inspired by summer and by the Summer Gypsy Earrings I made recently.

This bracelet has five strands, but add more if you like!

I ended up using three of my strands of Czech fire polish beads: Opaque Red Vintage Bronze Luster, Light Erinite and Crystal Light Beige Luster. These were filled in with some small turquoise nuggets and a strand of frosted orange glass seed beads.

You may have noticed some larger beads on my work table that I didn’t end up using in the finished bracelet. I had thought when I began to throw a few cute beads onto headpins and make a couple dangles near the clasp, but ended up changing my mind on that.

Picture how elegant this bracelet would look with all the strands the exact same beads. Simple and sophisticated. It would also be pretty done in ombré shades.

Tools and Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Summer Gypsy Bracelet-Beaded Jewelry Tutorial at YouTube.