Mar 252017
 

vines & flowers pen cover

Hi everyone, I just wanted to let you know that I have a new tutorial available! It’s for how to make these beautiful vines and flowers covered pens. This is a downloadable PDF tutorial.

vines & flowers pen 7

The tutorial is nearly 20 pages long with plenty of full color photos and detailed step-by-step directions. I show you how to prepare, cover and texture the pen, how to make canes for the vines & flowers and how adding crystals to the flower centers creates a lovely, realistic shape.

vines & flowers pen 15

There’s also a bonus coloring page at the end. It’s vines and flowers, of course. 🙂

Polymer Pen Stand

Once you’ve created your pens you can watch my YouTube video on how to create matching vines and flower pen stands. These sets make wonderful gifts!

vines & flowers pen all 3 crossed

So if you like pretty, creative pens, or you know someone who would like one as a gift, check out the downloadable Vines & Flowers Pen tutorial at CraftArtEdu.

Let me know what you think!

I also put together a short video about this class:

Watch the Vines & Flowers Pen Polymer Clay Downloadable Tutorial video at YouTube.

Mar 172017
 

ff polymer clay tube bails

Although shopping for and using unique jewelry findings is a lot of fun, it’s even more satisfying if we can create them ourselves. This is one reason why I’ve really been wanting to get into metal clay, as I think it’s the perfect fusion between creating in polymer clay and having quality precious metal jewelry.

However, since that is cost prohibitive at the moment we can content ourselves with making our findings out of polymer clay. It’s a great way to make perfectly matched findings for your polymer clay jewelry and makes each piece even that much more unique.

In today’s video I will show you how to make simple tube bail. Interestingly, a couple hours after I shot this video I watched a video from a Patricia Roberts-Thompson, who has a relatively new YouTube channel, showing how to make polymer clay end caps. Her process is very similar to mine. The only difference between the end caps and the tube bails is that the bails need to have a wire loop inserted and the end caps need to have one end capped, naturally.

I show a simple way of texturing a bail, but don’t forget that you could also make smooth bails and then add swirls, dots, flowers or whatever else you like and then do one more baking. This would make the bail more of a focal piece than an accent, but with the right pendant it might be just what it needs.

Tools and Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the DIY Tube Bails Out Of Polymer Clay – Friday Findings Jewelry Tutorial at YouTube.

Jan 022017
 

Here’s a short little video I made for you looking back on all of the tutorials I’ve created in 2016. It’s kind of amazing to think that it’s been a year since I finished my dragon challenge, as the habits I developed over that year I have served me well this year. I learned to be more disciplined, to work at my art whether I feel like it or not, and to make it a priority.

Dragon Collage 1500x1500

I really love making polymer clay tutorial videos for you all! As I mentioned in the video, I added a third weekly video to my YouTube channel in February. What I didn’t mention was that in August I realized making three a week was just too much. So now I’m back down to two per week, alternating weeks (more or less) with polymer clay and jewelry videos, but always with a Friday Findings video every week.

One hundred thirty seven videos is a LOT and I hope you all have enjoyed them. Let me know in the comments if there are any that stand out to you as particular favorites.

swirly lentil Collage

I also created one class for CraftArtEdu.com this year, my Gradient Swirly Lentils Necklace class. This is a fun polymer technique that can be quite addictive. I strongly suggest if you enjoy polymer clay tutorials that you get on  CraftArtEdu.com’s email newsletter list as they regularly send out coupon codes for 30, 40 and sometimes 50% off their classes.

Another thing I was really pleased to do this year was create tutorials for fairy garden accessories for Polymer Café magazine.

March April 2016 Polymer Cafe magazine

They kicked off my series with the March/April issue in which my fairy garden birdbath was featured on the cover! That was quite a thrill.

fairy garden Collage

I then went on to make five other fairy garden accessory tutorials, concluding with the fairy garden bridge in the January/February 2017 issue. If you’d like to learn how to make these but don’t have a subscription to Polymer Café or can’t get the back issues, keep an eye out because I will be releasing them as individual downloadable PDF tutorials, once the rights revert back to me (about 18 months after publication.)

fairy house pdf promo

I already have one out for sale, my Fairy Garden House.  The Vines and Flowers Pen PDF tutorial will be out sometime in March or April of 2017. (In the meantime you can watch the video tutorial for the matching pen stand.)

clay doll & cheech

Dolly from Maureen Carlson’s How to Make Clay Characters, cat-because he’s a cat

One thing I put in my 2015 looking back and looking ahead article a year ago was that I wanted to do more figure sculpting. Sadly I have only managed to do a grand total of ONE figure this year, this little dolly from Maureen Carlson’s How to Make Clay Characters.

I really have a strong desire to do figures expressing relationships, emotion and interactions and have been studying the work of other artists to see what resonates with me.

My Pinterest board Doll & Figure Inspiration-Polymer Clay shows the direction my interests & tastes take.

pinterest dolls & figures

Speaking of which, if you follow my Pinterest boards I have recently separated out the dragons and figures from my Inspiration-Polymer Clay board, adding two more boards:

In fact, as I look back at my list of 2016 goals, I find that not as many of them as I would have hoped have been accomplished:

  • Work in precious metal clay – Nope, mostly due to lack of funds
  • Finish going through Christi Friesen’s Flourish– No, but nearly there!
  • Work through three books on figures – Not even close ===sigh===
  • Create polymer clay videos for YouTube-Yes! I recorded, edited and uploaded 50 polymer clay videos to my YouTube channel. 
  • Continue to write tutorials for Polymer Café magazine – Yup, did a year-long series. 🙂
  • Turn some of the dragon projects into tutorials – I’m working on it, I promise!

It may be time for a new 2017 challenge to get me moving on my goals.

Thinking about it….

Watch the 2016 Year in Review video at YouTube. 

What are your proudest accomplishments of 2016? Do you have any goals for 2017? 

Happy creating and happy new year!

Nov 292016
 

These snowflakes are a relaxing project to do with older children or with friends, but they’re also kind of nice to work on by yourself! It was fun digging through all of my small shape cutters and finding different combinations that would work to make interesting designs.

I love to hang these on my windows with suction cup hooks and very fine gold thread. If the light shines on them they sparkle, and if they’re back-lit the silhouettes are pretty.

snowflake ornaments cover

Here’s another tip: If you’re going to make spirals or scrolls, make one first, then gently unroll it and measure it. Cut five more clay pieces to that length and they all should end up being the same size.

If any of the shaped bits fall off after baking, which may happen since they are so small, just use a little dab of super glue to stick them back into place.

Also, I didn’t mention it in the video, but if you use a mat like mine with the blue printed lines, make sure to design your snowflake on the side without lines. You may have noticed in the video when I flipped one of my snowflakes over that it had blue marks on it. My lines came right off onto the clay, oops!

snowflake ornaments 2

There are so many different combinations that you can make, the possibilities are endless. Don’t forget that you can also brush portions or the entirety of your snowflakes with mica powders. Perfect Pearl would be a great color, or perhaps a pale blue like Interference Blue would be pretty. You could even cover these with flocking powder after baking for a really interesting look. Have fun creating and designing!

Tools and Materials:

If you like making snowflakes out of polymer clay, here are a couple other tutorials with very different methods:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Sparkling Snowflakes-Polymer Clay Christmas Ornaments Series-2016 video at YouTube.

Nov 022016
 

garden fairy house -Sandy Huntress Keepsake Crafts.net, http://craftartedu.com/dt-fairy-garden-house-with-sandy-huntress

Hi everyone, I just wanted to let you know that I have a new tutorial available! It’s for how to make this cute little fairy garden house. This is a downloadable PDF tutorial.

garden fairy house, creating faux stones -Sandy Huntress Keepsake Crafts.net, http://craftartedu.com/dt-fairy-garden-house-with-sandy-huntress

The tutorial is nearly 20 pages long with plenty of full color photos and detailed step-by-step directions. I show you how to make these realistic looking faux stones, how to texture the leaves and make a real leaf-like roof, plus how to construct and put the whole thing together.

garden fairy house, applying shingles -Sandy Huntress Keepsake Crafts.net, http://craftartedu.com/dt-fairy-garden-house-with-sandy-huntress

There’s also an adorable bonus coloring page at the end. It’s a fairy garden house, of course. 🙂

garden fairy house, flower details -Sandy Huntress Keepsake Crafts.net, http://craftartedu.com/dt-fairy-garden-house-with-sandy-huntress

There are so may details that bring this charming little house to life: vines, leaves and flowers twining over the roof, a touch of gilding and a paint technique that totally makes your faux stones look real!

garden fairy house -Sandy Huntress Keepsake Crafts.net, http://craftartedu.com/dt-fairy-garden-house-with-sandy-huntress

So if you like fairy gardens, or you know someone who would like one as a gift, check out the downloadable Fairy Garden House tutorial at CraftArtEdu.

Let me know what you think!

I also put together a video preview of the class:

Watch the Fairy Garden House Polymer Clay Tutorial video at YouTube.

Happy creating!

Oct 252016
 

mica stencils cover

In today’s video I show a fun technique for surface effects on polymer clay. Although putting pigment through a stencil seems fairly basic, there actually are quite a few small details to attend to and understand in order for your pieces to come out as nice as possible.

Throughout the video I give several tips and tricks to make sure your stenciling is crisp and clean, your blending is smooth and that you have no stray powders in places you don’t want them.

Those of you who are my patrons can go to Patreon.com/sandysewin for some bonus footage of pieces that I didn’t show the making of in the public tutorial.

Tools & Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Stenciling with Mica Powders-Polymer Clay Video Tutorial at YouTube.

Sep 062016
 

beachcomber's bracelet

This bracelet combines several of my favorite things about polymer clay jewelry: texture, surface effects and a multitude of dangles.

The texture comes from creation; I made two-part molds of three collected seashells. I also used a Sculpey mold to make small scallop shells and starfish.

The surface effects are from Perfect Pearls and iridescent paints. I love how these bring the whole piece together.

I’ve been wearing this piece today and think a few Swarovski crystal dangles would not go amiss, either. More glitter and sparkle? Why not?! 😀

There are so many directions you can go with this idea. How about making molds of favorite kids toys, charms, keys or other special objects?

If you don’t know how to make two-part molds, check out my Friday Findings-Making Two-Part Molds video to learn the process. It’s easier than you might think.

Tools and Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Beachcomber Bracelet-Polymer Clay Video Tutorial at YouTube.

Jun 292016
 

arabesque bracelet

This beads in this bracelet are hollow, so they’re lightweight and comfortable to wear. I just love the silver painted designs, so easy to do with silk screening.

In this video I teach several different techniques that build on each other to make this bracelet:

  • making subtle blended stripes using clay from your scrap bin
  • silk screening on clay
  • creating domes with a hollow bead maker form
  • putting together pairs of domes to make beads
  • stringing them all together into a bracelet

Right after finishing this project I watch a video by Helen Breil in which she gives ideas for ways you can enhance your silk screened designs even further.  Not only is she a wonderful polymer clay designer with a classy sense of style, but she has designed several silk screens. I may have to get some!

Tools & Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Arabesque Bracelet-Polymer Clay Video 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.

Jan 102016
 

This idea has been one I have wanted to try for a long time. I’m always a sucker for simple and elegant design, and when I saw this pin on Pinterest I thought it was brilliant. The pin actually leads back to ElsaKStudios Etsy shop where she makes several items out of ceramics. I suspect that the weight of a ceramic piece would help with the stability of these holders, as I did have a bit of trouble getting my cell phone holders to be the right size and shape so they wouldn’t tip over.

scrolled phone holders cover

In the video I show to make your phone holder’s clay strip 3 inches wide and 8 inches long. You might find it helpful to make your strip a bit longer if your phone is especially tall, perhaps make it nine or 10 inches long. This will give you the extra length and weight it needs in the back.

If all else fails you can do what this gal does and put a wedge in the back, which sorta seems like cheating to me, but it gets the job done. 🙂

scrolled phone holders insta

By the way, I prepare my videos and blog posts 3 to 4 weeks in advance of them being published, so this project was actually done during the week before Christmas. Which is why I mention things being gifts. I ended up making four of these; one each for my husband, my two sons and myself.

So here’s a funny story: I finally finished three of the scroll phone holders and was ready to take them downstairs to my studio to take the beauty shots for the video. The plan was to put my cell phone in the holder and then take the photos. Silly me though, forgot to consider that I take my photos with my cell phone!

That wasn’t gonna work. Duh.

So I came upstairs and asked my husband and son if I could borrow their phones for five minutes. Being the week before Christmas they knew better than to ask questions.

When I gave their phones back I asked if those few minutes had felt like being without their right arms. My husband looked perplexed at the question, but my son mumbled, “Kinda.” lol

Tools and Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Scrolled Cell Phone Holder-Polymer Clay Tutorial video at YouTube.