Oct 242017
 

These polymer clay pendants with phrases are so much fun to make, and so very satisfying because they say exactly what you want them to say!

If you want to get even more words to fit onto your pendants, just use slightly smaller images and really squeeze all the letters in together, not worrying about where the line breaks are.

The results will be interesting to look at, as it won’t be as readily apparent what they say, but will require the viewers to look a little bit more closely.

turn of phrase pendants pt 2 cover

You’ll notice from the cover photo that I ended up using the nativity stamp after all, and was very pleased with the results.

Sometimes if you’re unsure you just have to go for it and see how it turns out!

If you find there are areas you aren’t thrilled with, such as the little flower in the upper left of my “give thanks” pendant, feel free to add sculptural elements to embellish and cover up.

The little flower I used (you can see it in the cover photo) is perhaps a bit big for the pendant. It was just something in my stash, but I think I need to sculpt one that’s a bit more in proportion.

To color the flower that the bird is holding I used a tiny detail brush dipped in water and then in a little bit of Inka Gold. It worked great for adding color and a bit of shimmer to small areas. (Gotta find more opportunities to play with those!)

Don’t forget that any projects decorated with Gilders paste should dry for at least 24 hours. Then you can buff them to a nice sheen. The product directions say to wait 12 hours but I have found that often that isn’t enough, perhaps because I put a lot of layers on mine.

Tools and Materials:

  • Metal bezels
  • Polymer clay
  • Rubber stamps or cling stamps
  • Letter stamps such as this metal stamp set
  • Index card
  • Needle tool
  • Opaque pigment inks such as chalk inks
  • Clay blade
  • Detail paint brush
  • Paint thinner or mineral spirits
  • Inka Gold
  • Gilders paste

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Turn of Phrase Pendants Part 2 of 2-Polymer Clay Jewelry Tutorial video at YouTube.

Oct 172017
 

It’s always nice to wear pretty jewelry, and even sometimes interesting or unusual jewelry.

Then there is the jewelry that’s meaningful, perhaps because it came from a loved one or has special memories.

turn of phrase pendants pt 1 cover

Today’s project makes jewelry that is meaningful in a different way. By using words and images that resonate with you, you can make your piece completely unique and special.

These pendants would also make one-of-a-kind, meaningful gifts for friends and loved ones.

The materials list for this project is long, so I suggest while you have the supplies out you make several. This gives you an opportunity to experiment with different shapes, phraseology, colors and finishes. Along the way you’ll find some pieces that you like more than others and get practice with the techniques.

Tools and Materials:

  • Metal bezels
  • Polymer clay
  • Rubber stamps or cling stamps
  • Letter stamps such as this metal stamp set
  • Index card
  • Needle tool
  • Opaque pigment inks such as chalk inks
  • Clay blade
  • Detail paint brush
  • Paint thinner or mineral spirits
  • Inka Gold
  • Gilders paste

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Turn of Phrase Pendants Part 1 of 2-Polymer Clay Jewelry Tutorial video at YouTube.

Watch Part 2 of the Turn of Phrase Pendants.

May 022017
 

sculpted seascapes cover

Today’s project is the result of combining several different ideas I’ve come across in the polymer clay world. Christie Friesen in her book Flourish showed the idea for using  silicone putty molds in a variety of ways, including making partial impressions on clay shapes. I’ve seen several projects around the inter-webs using metal charms and bits of clay to make a little wearable scenes. And of course I’m sure you’ve all seen lots of projects incorporating spirals and scrolls and swirls.

I call my project “Sculpted Seascapes,” since they all seem to have a beachy theme, but you could make yours any style you like. Creating the base goes fairly quickly, but adding all of the details can take a while. I find it to be a relaxing, meditative process. Don’t forget to stand back on occasion and take a look at the piece as a whole. It’s easy to get lost in all those little details!

Although you can pop out the metal charms and other mixed media used in your piece after baking and glue them, I prefer to arrange bits of clay around them so that they are trapped in there once the clay is hardened by baking. It’s a much more secure bond than trusting in glue, which at times can be unreliable.

If you incorporate things that you found perhaps on a nature walk or vacation, you’ll have a special, wearable momento of that time.

Tools and Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Sculpted Seascapes-Polymer Clay & Mixed Media Tutorial at YouTube.

Apr 142017
 

ff coiled hidden bail

There are lots of different ways to hang polymer clay pendants from necklace cord. Some of the more obvious are adding a hole, adding a loop to the pendant or embedding some kind of metal finding. But sometimes the design just doesn’t warrant it. Sometimes you don’t want any of the findings to show on the front.

I’ve seen lots of different styles of polymer clay bails pressed onto the backs of pendants, but they can often be bulky. Today I’m going to show you a quick and easy way to secure a hidden, low-profile bail to the back of your polymer clay pendant.

If you don’t have the coiling gizmo to make your coils you can wrap your wire around anything cylindrical. But using this cool tool will make your work much quicker and it’s easier to get consistent results.

Watch my video on Coiled Wire Beads and Other Findings, which includes how to use the Coiling Gizmo.

Remember to first plan your stringing cord so that you can make a wire coil of the appropriate size. The thicker your coil,  by the way, the thicker the backing of your clay should be. But don’t embed your coil so deeply that you can no longer fit in your cording!

As I mention in the video, all the pendants I use for demonstration in the video were made with directions from Christi Friesen’s book, Flourish.

Tools and Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the How to Make a Hidden Coil Bail For Pendants-Friday Findings Jewelry Tutorial 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.

May 182016
 

bird branch pendant

Today I have for you part two on how to make this bird & branch pendant. Here’s the link to part one of the Bird & Branch Steampunk pendant, in case you missed it.

Tools & Materials:

Have fun with this design, changing it up and making it your own.

Watch the Bird, Branch & Steampunk Heart Pendant Part 1-Polymer Clay Tutorial at YouTube.

Watch the Bird, Branch & Steampunk Heart Pendant Part 2-Polymer Clay Tutorial at YouTube.

May 112016
 

bird branch pendant

I’ve seen a lot of these pendants lately with some combination of a bird, branch, nest and heart and decided it was time to make one myself.

All of these pieces are fairly simple to sculpt so even if you’ve never used polymer clay before I hope you’ll give it a try! Put all the simple components together and I think they make a fun and unique pendant. Here’s the link if you would like to use my heart template.

In this week’s video I show you how to make the bird and the branch. Next week we’ll create the steampunk heart and put it all together.

Tools & Materials:

Make sure you put together your wire nest first, see my Springtime Nest video tutorial for how to.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Bird, Branch & Steampunk Heart Pendant Part 1-Polymer Clay Tutorial at YouTube.

May 042016
 

water lily hearts

This is a simple cane to make, but as is always the case with my favorites, there are lots of possible ways to interpret and use it.

If you keep the canes uniformly round while slicing, (which I didn’t) keep them all the same thickness (which I didn’t) AND lay them out on the backing sheet evenly (again, nope, not me) then you’ll end up with a hexagonal pattern after rolling them flat.

Personally I prefer the organic look. I’ve always been more a fan of impressionism then precise realism.

water lilies 2 water lilies

Like Monet. 🙂

If you’d like to use my heart templates, you can find the pdf here: Heart Templates.

Tools & Materials:

Watch the Water Lily Hearts-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.

Dec 302014
 

Happy final What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday of 2014!

2014 12 31 woyww  tribal pendants (1)

Now that Christmas is over, I’ve been trying to finish up a few projects, including these Tribal Pendants from Sylvie Peraud’s CraftArtEdu.com class.

tribal pendant 1

I wasn’t happy with this first one I made, so I did two more.

2014 12 31 woyww  tribal pendants (2)

I’m loving the bright colors of the one of the right. Those are so much more me than the earthy tones of the other two. Maybe I can get it done in time to wear for New Year’s Eve. 🙂

I hope this day finds you looking forward to God’s blessings in 2015. No matter how bad things seem, there is always much to be thankful for.  (I Thessalonians 5:18)

Wondering why I’m posting photos of my desk? Well it’s What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday, the day we all go visiting the creative spaces of creative people all over the world. The blog link party starts at Julia’s.

Happy creating and Happy New Year, all!