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.

Aug 042017
 

Have you heard of howlite? If you work at all with beads and jewelry you likely have seen a lot more of this gemstone than you realize.

ff howlite cover

If you’ve seen beads that are carved, shaped and then dyed bright colors, you’ve probably seen howlite!

howlite etsy

Howlite’s main claim to fame is that it is very soft and that means that it takes dye very well. In turn that means it is often used to imitate other stones such as turquoise, coral or even lapis lazuli.

howlite amazon

Although there are dishonest sellers will try to pass off dyed howlite as more expensive stones, you can tell an honest seller by the fact that their colorful stones are clearly labeled as dyed howlite.

howlite artbeads

If you think you might have some imitation gemstones you can check out the video by Gem Rock Auctions entitled “How to Tell the Difference Between Turquoise and Dyed Howlite.”

Although howlite is a fairly plain stone on its own, it definitely has its uses, whether to be dyed bright colors that cannot be found anywhere in nature or to be used as its own clean and simple white self.

You can find howlite:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Howlite, The Master of Disguise Gemstone-Friday Findings at YouTube.

Aug 012017
 

This lovely plover bead has been sitting on my studio table for way too long now. I’ve enjoyed looking at it but it was high time it got made into something wearable!

beach scene necklace cover

This bead was made by Shannon Vickers of Blue Blazes Lampwork.  You can also see what she’s up to on her Facebook page.

Many of you have told me that you enjoy the tutorials where I explain the design process. That’s why today’s video is longer than usual.

Let me know which you prefer:

  • shorter videos
  • or more of my rambling about design.

Tools and Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Beach Scene Necklace-Lampwork Focal Bead Jewelry Tutorial video at YouTube.

Jul 312017
 

Yay, I finally got back to my figure challenge!

2017 pcfc #7 Everett cover

This fellas name is Everett and I titled him “Just Imagine.” Everett is kind of a geeky guy who loves all things adventure, fantasy and make believe.

Is he pretending to be Indiana Jones? A wizard? And what’s in that letter? Is it a call to come participate in some grand quest? Rescue a princess?

I’ll leave it to your imagination.

2017 pcfc #7 Everett (1)

I have absolutely no idea why, but I totally love sculpting shoes, boots and hats! It was really no hardship to spend the afternoon staring at a young Harrison Ford/Indiana Jones while sculpting the Indiana Jones hat. 😎 I’m pretty pleased with how it came out.

2017 pcfc #7 Everett (2)

My patrons were the first to get to see this, my latest figure sculpture. They got an advance viewing on Friday.  Just one of the little perks I like to send my patrons’ way.

2017 pcfc #7 Everett (3)

Everett is number seven of the polymer clay figures I’ve made this year. This works out perfectly as July is the 7th month and I am now officially redefining my 2017 polymer clay figure challenge to be only one figure per month.

2017 pcfc #7 Everett (4)

If I didn’t have other things to do, like things that bring in money to pay the bills, I would definitely want to keep working on two figures a month to continue growing my skills. But, you know, it’s ok because it’s good to be working on a variety of things at the same time.

2017 pcfc #7 Everett (5)

I’ve also realized at this point that I am totally done with making figures that have any size to them without full wire armatures on the inside. It may be easier to sculpt without them, but I am so tired of their arms falling off! Argh.

2017 pcfc #7 Everett (6)

Another thing I think I want to do more of is making soft bodies on a wire armature and clothing them with real fabrics. Since my first love is sewing I have quite a collection of fabrics, and I’ve been saving many special ones for dolls.

So perhaps I’ll make one or two more from Maureen Carlson’s How to Make Clay Characters because she has some interesting ideas for using millefiori techniques to make patterned fabric clothing out of clay. But then I think I’m going to go more to using actual fabrics.

Although I still want to sculpt the hats and the shoes!

2017 pcfc #7 Everett (7)

Watch a short video of Everett the Adventurer Wizard Wanna-Be at YouTube.