Monday, June 22, 2015

Inchie Frame

Several weeks ago I started making polymer clay tiles to decorate some thrift store picture frames. They were relatively simple tiles to make. I just stamped sheets of clay with a rubber stamp, cut them with a tissue blade and attached the cured tiles onto the frame. Easy-peasy.

Well my creative gears went into over-drive. What if I used cane slices to decorate some small square tiles? I've made magnets and buttons this way before but they were round. What would they look like square? There was only one way to find out!

Slice, place, repeat.....12, 1" square polymer clay tiles. I love 'em!
And I had the perfect frame too! One I had purchased at the thrift store weeks ago, long before I made the tiles!  If only I had taken a "before" picture of that ugly two-toned, fake wood grain, brown frame.



See the corners? These are raised areas on the frame so I ended up making 12, 1/2" tiles to place there, 3 per corner. It's really hard to show all of the details in the pictures (or either I haven't learned how to use a camera yet). The frame can stand or hang vertically, as pictured, and the two openings are 2" x 3".





real close-up shot of one of the tiles
So, there you have it. Another successful thrift store make-over! I hope you'll join me again soon for more creative ideas.


Friday, June 19, 2015

National Martini Day

These days it seems like there is a day set aside for just about everything. Have you ever heard of some of these:  National Donald Duck Day, National Hazelnut Cake Day, National Go Barefoot Day.....the list goes on and on!  Take a look at the list of National holidays for yourself, you just might want to celebrate a few.

But today, June 19, is National Martini Day.

A few years ago I covered a set of martini glasses which both sold. Knowing this, my sisters gave me a couple..... almost a year ago.....thinking I could make some more. I guess I was just needing the inspiration to do it. Well, today was the day!





So, raise your glass and say a toast for such nonsense holidays like today...at least they can inspire me to be creative!

If you would like to be the owner of this glass I invite you to take a look in my Etsy shop. Or if you want a custom one done in another color scheme contact me. I would love to create it!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Frame It

I don't know of a better way to personalize your home or office than with photographs. Whether it's a school picture of the kids or a snapshot taken while on vacation, pictures take us back to those memorable times. Those special photos deserve an equally special frame. So this month I worked on a few.

I started by shopping at two local Goodwill stores where you can always find a bargain. I looked for frames that were in good shape and were wide and flat. I wasn't worried about the finish or even the color as these are two things that can be either fixed or covered up.

This is the first frame I did. It's a painted wooden frame that needed a little TLC. I started by sanding it and really liked the aged, weathered look so I decided to leave it that way. I made the tiles by rolling out sheets of specially blended polymer clay colors, stamping the designs and then cutting out various sized rectangles and squares. After the tiles were cured and cooled, I added a little acrylic paint, which was then wiped away, and placed the tiles around the sides, fitting them as best I could. To me that part was the most fun. Like putting together a puzzle!

collage frame
close up

This next one turned out really nice! Again, I followed the same steps as above. The only difference being I spray painted the frame solid black.

5 x 7 tabletop frame

close up


This one looks very masculine to me although I'm not sure why.....maybe it's just the colors: dark gray, brown and blue with a weathered wooden look.

5 x 7 frame with easel back and wall hangers
close up


This one was a special order for a new nursery. I think a black and white photograph of the new baby would look darling in this frame!




And finally I used up some of the left over tiles from these projects and made this little frame. A patch work, hodge-podge of colors.

2.5 x 3.5 easel back frame

Do you have a special picture looking for a perfect frame? Perhaps you could make one yourself! Or, if you don't have the time maybe one of these would be just what you need. They are for sale in my shop. Just follow the link at the top of the page.


Sunday, June 7, 2015

April Flowers

April found me working on flowers. Wow what a surprise, right?

I had a custom order to fill for 7 crochet hooks. I love how they turned out. And so did the customer! Her review read "The workmanship is excellent. The colors and designs are terrific. Very comfortable to use." I love it when my customers are happy with their purchase. Yay!


Next, I decided to try something new. Plant stakes! I made 3 sets of these whimsical flowers. A great way to add some color to your green, non-flowering plants. Or arrange them in a vase for a bouquet that never dies!




I even tried my hand at flower sculpting.



I love the lily the best! In the end though I decided not to use it. It was going to be just a bit too fragile. But the poppies passed the test and so did the roses! Here is where they ended up. A flower vase given as a birthday present. I was told that Nana was very pleased! Another yay!




So there you have it. Three very different projects. Three very different styles and applications. But all of them blooming with color!

If you know someone who would enjoy receiving a flowering gift that never fades, let me know. I would love to help you out!


Spring has Sprung

March of this year found me doing less creating and more enjoying the outdoors.

The camellias were still in bloom and looking their best.






And a few azaleas were starting to show some color.




A walk through Azalea Park here in the heart of Flowertown was a must!




With all of this beauty surrounding me I can't help but be inspired!!!

Saturday, June 6, 2015

February Highlights

As promised yesterday, I'm going to play catch up on things that I have created this year. And so that brings us to February.

February, I think, is my least favorite month of the year so thank goodness it's also the shortest! It's usually one of the coldest too. I'm pretty sure when February rolls around, many others feel the same way I do. They're tired of the cold and just want Spring to hurry up already!

February found me making a few new items. All of which were fun, bright colors, in the hopes of curing the winter doldrums.

I started with keychains! Flowers, butterflies, fish....yeah that felt like spring.


Then I moved on to earrings. They may be small but they are bright!


I even tried my hand at thumbtacks. What a cute way to pin up notes, reminders, recipes, or whatever!


A new item I started making this year is dread beads! I really like making these single, large holed beads. Wear them in your hair or string them on some thick cording, the choice is yours!


Anticipating warmer weather, I made these hair ties. I wear my hair back all the time and thought these would be a fun way to dress up that ponytail!


 

And finally, I made these fun refrigerator magnets!


That's about it. Although it's no longer winter these fun, cheery items for you, your home and office will always brighten your day. Some are still available in my Etsy shop. I invite you to stop by and take a closer look!

Friday, June 5, 2015

Time Flies

It has come to my attention that I have neglected my blog! It's been over 4 months since I've been here. So, I've decided that the next few posts will highlight what I've been up to so far this year.

So, first up....
Back in January I was contacted by Polyform.... you know, the makers of Sculpey products,,,,, to do a project for them. I was ecstatic and of course I said YES! The project was to be a mosaic vase, it had to be my own original design and I had to use Sculpey III. Now, I haven't used Sculpey III in years. (I'm a Premo! gal myself.) I had forgotten just how soft this clay is straight out of the package. It's a great clay for young beginners or for anyone who has a hard time conditioning firmer clays. This project doesn't require any difficult techniques, just simple marbling and cutting. I love that you can use your own imagination with the designs to create a piece that is as unique as you are!

This is what I came up with!

Side 1

Side2

Side 3

Side 4
It was really fun planning and creating. Here's the link for all the details so you can make one of your very own!  http://www.sculpey.com/project/sculpey-iii-mosaic-vase/

I hope you give it a try. It would be a great summer project for the kids. Happy claying!!!



Saturday, January 24, 2015

Making Polymer Clay Ring Bowls.... a tutorial

I love making canes! I think it is my favorite thing to do with polymer clay. I try not to make my canes too big though.... I like to use them up fast so that I can make more! But still I have my share of old canes, ones that either didn't turn out the way I wanted or ended up being bigger than I needed. But for whatever reason I have too many and wanted to get rid of them. I didn't want to just throw them away though so it was time to experiment. I've used hard clay before, you can see those tutorials here and here, but I wanted to do something new. My first ring bowl turned out really cute and so I made a couple more and decided I would take some pictures and show you how I did it. Let's get started!

Step 1. Chop up your cane with a ripple blade. You could also use a straight blade if that's all you have. I used a blue and white star cane that was about 4 years old and chopped it up really small on a piece of white paper just to help contain all the pieces.



Step 2. Take a piece of conditioned clay, it can be scrap or new as long as its well conditioned and soft. Roll it into a ball. I used some scrap clay that was about 1 inch in diameter. This amount will make about a 2 inch bowl.


Step 3. Flatten your clay into a disk shape, not too thin and press it into your pile of chopped up pieces until completely covered on both sides and around the edge. Make sure the pieces are sticking well and covering as much as possible.


Step 4.  Place your disk onto your work surface (I use my glass table top) and start pinching/pushing the sides towards the center. Keep turning and pushing, keeping a round shape, until it looks like a dome. Its hard to tell from the picture but the center is starting to rise and take on an upside down bowl shape.


Step 5.  Turn it over and press down in the center with your thumb. This will flatten the bottom. Then begin pinching the sides making them thinner and enlarging your bowl. At this point you may notice some cracks forming. You can simply fill them in with some more of the chopped up clay or leave them and fill them in later.


Once you are happy with your bowl's size and shape it's ready to be cured. I place mine on a clay tile and bake it for the recommended time and temperature for the brand of clay I use.

After your bowl has cured and completely cooled you have some options.

A) You can leave it as is. You're finished and your bowl is ready to be used!
B) If you still have cracks (from step 5) you can fill them in. You may need to use a little liquid clay to get the pieces to stick.  Then you will have to cure your bowl again.
C) Paint it! I like to use dark acrylic paint to give my bowl a weathered look. Just paint it on and wipe it off, leaving the paint in all the cracks!
D) Decorate it! This is what I love to do. I use slices from some of my "good" canes and have fun!

I decided on options D and C above and used white acrylic paint on this one.

Here are a few others I have made. I just love them! They will soon be listed for sale in my Etsy shop. Aren't they cute?!


But you aren't limited to making just ring bowls with this technique. If you're a jewelry maker then try pendants. Or "paint" a picture, filling in areas with different colors: green for trees and bushes, blue for the sky! Just thinking about the possibilities has me anxious to get started!

I hope this tutorial has given you some ideas on how you too can give new life to your old canes. If you have any questions please ask in the comments below. I would love to hear from you! Happy claying.....