May 092017
 

exotic botanicals cover

Today’s video is a collaboration between myself and Teresa Pandora Salgado’s and Valerie Evans’ Unruly Housewife YouTube channels. Our theme, as you may have guessed, is “Exotic Botanicals.” Make sure to check out their videos! (Links at the bottom of this post.)

I started my project by researching exotic botanicals online and was inspired by the colors of the Gloriosa flower. I didn’t try to make mine look exactly like the Gloriosa but I did love its pretty yellow and red stripy design.

gloriosa

The cane I show you in today’s video is a fairly simple one. I think it’s most effective when you use colors that contrast strongly with each other but also blend nicely. One fun thing about this cane is that you can make either color the dominant one in your design.

I really like the way my stripes squiggle and curve in the yellow brooch. This is a result of some not-so-careful reducing. If you want your stripes to remain nice and straight you might consider keeping your blend narrower to begin with. This can be done by placing something such as a dowel onto the rollers of your pasta machine which will keep the blend from growing too wide.

One thing I forgot to mention in the video is that after baking you can pull out the wire that was left there to make a stringing channel by grasping with pliers and then giving a twist. This, by the way, is why I said you want the wire to be nice and straight, because you need to be able to pull it out after baking.

exotic botanicals back

Another thing I didn’t show in the video (because I hadn’t done it yet) was to texture the backing that went over my pin finding with a small ball tool. I think this gives it a nice organic look and it’s a good finish to the backside of the piece.

I hope you have fun with this project and if you make your own version I would love to see photos!

Tools and Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Exotic Botanicals-Floral  Polymer Clay Tutorial at YouTube.

Be sure to check out the other videos in this tutorial collaboration:

Valerie Evans’ Hollow Polymer Clay Jungle Egg.

Jungle-Egg-Thumbnail-Val's collab photo

Teresa Salgado’s Dimensional Millefiori Pandorafied.

pandora collab photo

 

Apr 112017
 

faux embroidery pendants cover

I’ve always admired the sweet, dainty look of polymer clay faux embroidery and decided it was high time I made a few pieces of my own design.

In today’s video I will teach you the basics, including how to quickly sketch out your own design. Those of you who are my patrons can download my sketches from my Patreon posts.

In preparation for making this project I looked at a lot of examples of polymer clay faux embroidery. One thing I noticed was that they all had beautifully rounded and smooth bases. In the video I will also show you how to achieve that for yourself when filling a purchased bezel with clay.

One neat trick I saw some other clayers use was to roll a nice, smooth round ball and then slice off a section or slice it in half to make their base. You could also use a cabochon mold such as this one from Sculpey, to make your base. The nice thing about that is that they also have molds for making perfectly matching bezels.

So have fun creating these projects in whatever form you like!

Tools and  Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Clay Embroidery Pendants-Polymer Clay Faux Technique Tutorial at YouTube.

Aug 032016
 

floral cascade necklace

In last week’s video I showed how to make these cute little purple flowers and their accompanying leaves. By the way, I don’t think I mentioned that there are 14 of each in this necklace.

In this second video I’ll teach how to add paint details and beads to the flowers to turn them into dangles for a necklace. We’ll also enhance the texture of the leaves with Gilder’s paste.

Once all your polymer clay pieces are ready it’s a simple matter to use jump rings to attach them to your necklace chain in whatever configuration you like. In the tutorial I show some different options. It occurred to me after making the video that you could attach a clasp to the end of the chain and change the configuration every time you wear it!

Tools & Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Floral Cascade Necklace Part 2-Polymer Clay Tutorial at YouTube.

Jul 272016
 

floral cascade necklace

This design started with an idea to use chain to make a “Y” shaped necklace with lots of leaves and flowers dangling from it. I went searching for photos of flowers that naturally droop downward. One of my favorite resources for flower pics is my Burpee seed catalog, their gorgeous color close ups are wonderful.

When I had no luck with the seed catalog I wandered out to the kitchen for a snack and found a stem of comfrey flowers that my husband had brought in. Perfect!

comfrey

Hubby has been propagating comfrey because of its many healing properties. You can learn more by searching “medicinal herb comfrey.” This article on comfrey from A Modern Herbal is interesting and there are many others out there if you are interested.

For my purposes today though, I’ll just be using the flowers as inspiration and the leaves for texture.

Be sure to check back next week for how to add surface details to your clay pieces and then assemble them into this pretty necklace.

Tools & Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Floral Cascade Necklace Part 1-Polymer Clay Video Tutorial at YouTube.

Jun 152016
 

wildflower votive

Today’s video is the fourth and final in our polymer clay Wildflower Candle Holder series. Have you enjoyed learning how to make these different flowers and foliage?  I’d be interested to know your favorites or if there were any you found too hard.

Making leaves with real leaf texture is one of my favorite techniques, because it’s so easy, but so effective.

By the way, I didn’t think to mention it in the video, but it’s a good idea after baking to gently peel the taller flowers and leaves off the vase and secure them down with a few tiny dabs of super glue.

I would recommend washing the outside of your candle holder by rinsing gently under running water. Or dust it with a soft brush. Any kind of wiping with a cloth may break off pieces. But if things do break off, super glue is your friend. 🙂

If you make anything using these tutorials, please send me your project photos. I’d love to see them!

Tools & Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Wildflower Candle Holder Part 4-Polymer Clay Video Tutorial at YouTube.

Link to the Wildflower Candle Holder -Polymer Clay Tutorial playlist of all four videos.

Jun 082016
 

wildflower votive

Today I have for you the third in our series on how to make this floral votive candle holder. So far we’ve done large leaves with a simple scrap cane, fiddle heads and ferny-type things (Part 1,) salvia/larkspur type flowers and tall phlox, which with the right colors, leaves and height quite resemble geraniums (Part 2.)

rose campion

photo source: GardeningKnowHow.com, image by Taiftin

This week we’re making a sweet old fashioned flower that I love: rose campion. In the video I show you an easy way to get the look of many scattered leaves.

We’ll also make pansies/violets/violas to fill in the under story of our wildflower garden.

Next week will be the fourth and final installment, so check back!

Tools and Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating.

Watch the Wildflower Candle Holder Part 3-Polymer Clay Video Tutorial at YouTube

Watch Part 1 or Part 2 of the Wildflower Candle Holder series.

Jun 012016
 

wildflower votive

Today’s video is the second in a series on how to make this floral votive candle holder. Of course, as I keep saying, you can use these techniques to decorate just about anything you like: pendants, boxes, cuff bracelets, wine glasses… anything that will sit still long enough and can go into a 275° oven.

I absolutely love how this week’s two flowers came out. The salvia/larkspur type flowers are so simple to make, yet have such a realistic effect. After I made my first one I just sat back and said, “Ooooo, pretty!”

The tall phlox flowers are easy, but they take a bit more time. If you did them in reds and changed the shapes of the leaves you’d have quite convincing geraniums. I’m sure there are lots of different kind of flowers with this basic shape that you could adapt this technique to.

Tools and Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating.

Watch the Wildflower Candle Holder Part 2-Polymer Clay Video Tutorial at YouTube

Watch Wildflower Candle Holder Part 1 at YouTube.

May 252016
 

wildflower votive

You may have noticed that I love sculpting in polymer clay. And by sculpting I don’t mean to sound pretentious or la-di-dah, or imply that it’s impossible for your average person to accomplish. I simply mean shaping the clay so it depicts what you envision.

One of my favorite visions is that of a meadow blooming full of flowers, so I’m going to try to recreate that on a small glass candle holder. Today’s video begins a series. In part one I will show you how easily you can make three different kinds of greenery. The first involves a simple cane, and the other two are about basic shaping.

Another thing that’s great about this project is that you can make the entire thing with just clay from your scrap bin!

Tools and Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating.

Watch the Wildflower Candle Holder Part 1-Polymer Clay Video Tutorial at YouTube.

Mar 232016
 

sculpted polymer flowers

In today’s project you will learn not only how to make a simple polymer clay cane, but also how to use that cane to make pretty floral pendants.

It’s simple sculpting and you have lots of options for how to use your piece once it’s done. I like the idea of making several different flowers, each with two stringing channels, and then putting them together with a few beads for a bracelet.

Tools and materials:

This is one of those designs that has many different possibilities. From each cane you have two different colors options and they go together so quickly, you’ll want to make a bunch. 🙂

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Sculpted Polymer Clay Flowers Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

May 052015
 

I’m excited to announce this week another of my classes at CraftArtEdu was released! This is my Ombré Flowers Bracelet class.

Click on any of the photos for a closer look.

ombre flowers bracelet.jpg

You can see a free preview of the class over at CraftArtEdu.com.

In the class you’ll learn how to:

  • Choose three colors of polymer clay – I demonstrate with the Sunrise/Sunset color blend but give  you color recipes for two additional blends.
  • Mix them together in such a way that you have 25 to 30 individual colors linked together in a smooth ombré blend.
  • Turn your colorful blends into flower beads.
  • Incorporate crystals and beads to create your bracelet!

ombre flowers necklace.JPG

In it I show you how to take just three colors of polymer clay, blend them to create over 25 colors and use them to make an ombré bracelet that is perfect for summertime. The way the colors transition into each other is simply gorgeous and this is a technique you’ll be able to turn to time and time again, like to make a necklace rather than a bracelet…
ombre flowers earrings.JPG

… or earrings with teeny tiny flowers. It’s a really cool technique.

This class is on sale for $18 instead of $23 through this Friday, May 8.

My Polymer Clay Chocolates class is on sale this week as well, in case you missed it.

Happy creating!