Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Bead Do Over

I have been experimenting, learning and playing around with polymer clay, off and on, for close to 19 years.  And in all of that time I have made my share of mistakes. If you have ever tried a new craft I am sure you know what I mean. Sometimes I look back on what I made years ago and think "Oh, my! What was I thinking?"

I have held onto quite a few of these mistakes, not wanting to throw them out but not really knowing what I'm ever going to do with them. Take these beads for example.

They were supposed to look like white marble. But that is not what I got! So, what should I do with them?

Well, since I've been working with polymer for so long I have also made lots of canes, many of which I still have pieces of.  Like these that I made about 3 years ago.

So, I decided to cover my ugly beads with some slices from my leftover canes. Killing two birds with one stone, getting rid of my ugly beads and my leftover canes! It's a win, win!

So that's what I did and here are the results!

What an improvement! I really like their fun new shape! Perhaps I'll make a few more of these and list them in my shop. And I have plenty of other beads that could use a makeover. Oh, the possibilities.......

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

light bulb moments

What do you do with your burnt out light bulbs? If you're like most people you throw them out with the trash, right? Now, what dodo with them? Let me give you a hint....I don't throw them away.  Just take a look at this.....
Yep, this is my hoard of used light bulbs! I guess I should feel kind of embarrassed by this but let me tell you why I keep every shape and size bulb. Or better yet, I'll show you.

I'm a little teapot....

 bird is the word
clown (not Angry) red bird

rainbow fish ornament
snowman ornament
fat cat in the Santa hat ornament

Ice skating ornament, side 1

Ice skating ornament, side 2

All of these that you see here are just light bulbs and polymer clay, that's it. Most I made a few years ago and almost all of them have found new homes.
So you see, there are lots of things you can make with an old burnt out light bulb. I have so many more ideas. Now, if I can just find the time.........

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Polymer Clay Shank Buttons

This week I wanted to try and make a different type of button.  Normally I make two-hole buttons but I wanted to make shank style buttons.  I searched online for pre-made shanks. But I was feeling impatient. I wanted to make these NOW! I didn't want to have to order the shanks and then wait for them to be delivered. So I decided to use what I had and make them myself.  I wasn't sure if it would work but there was only one way to find out. This is what I did.

I had this spool of 20 gauge wire on hand and thought that would work just fine.  I cut 6, 1-1/2" pieces with my wire cutters, one for each button.

I centered the wire on my round nose pliers and bent each end down, forming a loop.

 Like this.

I then coiled each end, like this.

I placed the looped and coiled wire on what will be the back of the button.  I pressed in down just slightly.
I took another, smaller circle of clay, cut a small slit in the center of it with my X-acto blade and pushed it down over the loop, covering the coiled ends of the wire.

I blended the edges of the smaller circle into the back of the button. I then textured the whole back to seamlessly join the two circles of clay together.

After doing this for all 6 buttons, I cured them in the oven for about 30 minutes. After sanding and polishing, here they are!

I am really pleased with the way they turned out.  They appear to be very sturdy, which was my biggest worry.  So I think I will make more of this type of button. In fact, I already have an idea for my next set!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

What's on my work table

Let me just start by saying.....4 months? Have I really ignored my blog for that long?

Well, I am back (for now) and thought I would share what I'm working on today.

A custom order light switch plate cover!

And the recipient has no idea! Yeah, her husband asked me to make this for his wife. Need I say more?  I mean, he has given me no direction on where to go with this except that it needed to be for a single light switch and he wants dragonflies! Yeah, that's it! No color scheme, no nothing else!  So, I'm just following my creative instinct and havin' fun!

Kinda messy picking out colors to use.

Is 3 dragonflies too many? It needs more flowers!

I think I'm likin' it though.
Of course, this is just the preliminary stages. Things were quickly made and placed on, that's just the way I work.  I can't envision the finished product in my head without first laying it all out. I'll get it all fine tuned before curing.

Well, that's it for now. I'm going back to work on this some more!