Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Happy Holidays

Well, it's almost here!  Shopping done - check, Christmas Tree up - check, gifts wrapped - check, worked half day today - Yea!  Hope, if you are celebrating, you are ready and can enjoy the holiday.  That's what I'm doing the rest of the day today, and tomorrow!

I have been making an effort to spend time, weekly, in my studio.  I find if I take a few hours each week I can make several things, further organize the room and just work on getting the creative juices flowing.  So far, so good. 

I'm sure I've mentioned Cindy Lietz before.  She's a polymer clay expert and has video tutorials you can subscribe to.  The videos come out monthly and the price is right, so, I've been following her for a few years now.  Recently she did a tutorial on faux enamel and viking knit.  As usual, I couldn't wait to try it.

Here are a few pieces I made this past week. 

I've downloaded a few photo editing programs and have been trying to figure out how to work them.  My goal is to retake pictures of my inventory and redo my website.  If your are interested you can download Picasa 3 and Photoscape.  They were both free.  Just make sure when you load the Picasa that you decline the ads.  I made the mistake of thinking it was part of the download process and I thought I didn't have an option to decline.  Well, several weeks later and with the help of my neighbor {IT genius}, I got the ads off and reloaded the program.  It should be interesting to see what difference it will make with my photos.  The picture above was done on Photoscape.  I thought the frame was appropriate for the season!

Hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and a fruitful New Year!  Til next time, stay safe and be happy.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Shopping frenzy???

Yes, I did brave the crowds to go out last Friday to try to finish up my Christmas shopping.  I have to say, it wasn't bad.  We only went to a few stores, as I knew what I wanted.  The first stop I made was to Michaels.  They had a great sale and I ended up getting quite a discount! 

 It was nice to have a four day weekend.  Thanksgiving was quiet; just four of us, but the turkey turned out great {we'll be eating leftovers forever!}, the weather was gorgeous, and the Ravens won!!!!  Besides celebrating and shopping, I had a chance to catch up on watching my video tutorials from Cindy Lietz.  That in itself can be dangerous....she always has such neat information and ideas, I am inclined to expand my jewelry making repertoire {hence Michaels and the "great" savings}.  One of the videos I watched was for an owl charm.  There was also a charm made of metal that she stamped.  So, of course, I have been searching the web for any information I can find on metalsmithing and bought some metal sheets at Michaels.  I also made a trip to Polymer Clay Express yesterday for additional supplies.  It's great to have them so close. 

My daughter has been asking me for months to make her a tree of life pendant with her children's birthstone colors.   I was finally able to put a piece together for her.  I wanted to add a crystal for her and her husband, however, I didn't have the colors I needed.  Still, I'm pleased with how it turned out.

Well, the weekend is almost over; time to get some housework done.  At least I don't have to worry about what's for dinner tonight!

Til next time; stay safe and be happy.

Monday, November 25, 2013

End of shows for 2013

We had our last show of the season last Saturday.  It was at one of the local schools {we show every spring and fall}.  It was very busy, a great turnout.  I think it's one of the quickest days I ever had when doing a show. I can always count on my regulars that stop by every show.  This year, some of them even brought friends!  What a great compliment.

I work full time and while I love creating, I admit I don't spend a lot of time on promoting my side business.  Every year, I promise myself I will work harder to get my name out there.  Then, before you know it, the year rushes by.  I've decided {again!} to work on getting to more shows next year.  I plan to start looking after Christmas and coming up with a list of potential venues.  Then, we'll see.

I did two things with this last show, that I had not done before, and hope to see some results.  I developed a tri-fold pamphlet to hand out at shows.  It tells about my work, has some pictures and hopefully will encourage customers to contact me for custom pieces.  Secondly, I had a Holiday Special give away.  Anyone spending a designated amount was able to fill out a little card for a drawing after the show.  I made 2 beaded necklace and earring sets and I had them put which one they wanted if they won.  I randomly picked the winner tonight and sent an e-mail to her, plus sent a general thank you e-mail to all the others. Here's the picture of the two sets I made.

The winner was the only one that chose the red set.  Soooo, the blue one is still up for grabs!

Til next time, I hope everyone has a great week, stay safe, be happy and... if you celebrate have a Happy Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Getting ready for the holidays

I really don't know where the time goes.  Less than two weeks until Thanksgiving, then the mad Christmas rush. 

We've been lucky with fair weather the last few weekends {until today - there is fog and drizzle!}.  In October, we did a weekend show at a local fairground.  Now, one would think that October would glide in with some cooler temps and the promise of color changes to come with wonderful fall scents and the desire to get outside.  Well, let me tell you....it was so hot, we were sweating just standing around!  The crowds were no where to be seen and sales were low.  Even the event planners were surprised that some vendors did not show up and traffic was slow.  But, I always look at it as an opportunity to meet other artisans, network and sometimes, get good ideas for my small side business.

Somehow, the fall decorations didn't feel right with 90+ temps!

One of the yearly shows I have been doing in November is no more.  The planner indicated she just wasn't doing it any longer.  Luckily, my daughter put together a fundraiser show for my grandson's boy scout troop.  We went yesterday.  As this was the first time she did anything like this, she only had six vendors and the turnout was low {even the troops parents didn't come!}  I was able to sell some items, as I was the only handmade crafter there.  She plans to try again in April and will work on getting more vendors and a lot more advertising.

Because the weather has been so nice, I have been going out with my neighbor the past few Saturday's.  We went to some local shows and took one day to drive around taking pictures of barns.  She wants to put together a series of pictures for one of her rooms.  Well, this has lead to us talking about taking a photography class.  I realized, though I have a pretty good digital camera, I really don't know how to use all of the functions.  I've spent some time researching aperture, shutter speed, etc, but I learn better by hands on work.  We'll see.

Now, we are getting ready for our last show of the year next Saturday.  This show is usually very busy and we do well.  Then I really need to get myself organized for the holidays!

Til next time....stay safe and be happy.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Time for a new oven

Had a partial disaster today with my convection oven I use to bake clay.  I've been on a roll, getting pins and buttons done for our show next week.  For some reason, the separate oven thermometer I use was reading 350-400 degrees when I was preheating it.  I turned the oven off a few times to let it cool, then tried heating it again before I baked some pins.  Well, dummy me, I thought maybe the thermometer was broken, so I put some pieces in anyway.  A few minutes later, I noticed smoke coming out of the oven.  Geez, I quickly unplugged the oven and took the clay and oven outside.  I also opened the windows and put the vent on.  Boy, you don't want to smell burnt polymer clay and you definitely don't want the fumes in the house.  My advice; if you think something is wrong with your oven, err on the side of caution and don't use it!!  I was lucky that I was in the kitchen, as I usually put the pieces in and go back to my studio to get the next batch ready for baking.  I guess it was worth the few lost pieces I had, vs the other, worse case scenario.

On a better note, I am pleased with the items I've been making.  I put together a few pumpkin pins.....
...and I am finally filling up one of my peg board stands.  I also bought 4 small crate boxes from Michael's and spray painted them black to use for our set up next week.  I'm hoping to be able to get things together for the show during the week, so I am a little better organized with what I want to put out.

I hope to take a lot of pictures of our space and will post them when I have a chance.

Til next time, stay safe and be happy!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Buttons and more buttons

Been busy getting ready for our show in two weeks.  I'm making more buttons and football pins in different team colors.  My neighbor already has multiple people at work that want some, and I can't wait to see what the response is at the show.

Trying to come up with unique buttons can be a chore.  I don't want to make a standard button that can be bought in any retail store.  I'm trying to get a variety of colors in the time I have and am making different sizes and shapes.

I have to admit, I haven't searched too much for polymer clay buttons online, as I want to develop my own ideas.  There may be other artists out there that have used similar methods, and that's ok.  As they say..."Great minds think alike".  One technique I love with polymer clay is mica shift.  So...I thought, why not use that and make buttons.  So far, I have made two sets using mica shift.  {For those not familiar with mica shift - also known as ghost image - it's a technique that leaves the piece with a smooth 3D image in the clay.  I wrote out a tutorial a few years ago.  If you are interested, check out the link below.}

Here's the first set of mica shift buttons I made.  I used antique gold and used a jump ring for the component that is sewed to the clothing. 

 Here is another set I made today.  I used bronze clay, a honeycomb stamp and a square cutter.  I've sanded all the buttons, but only buffed the bottom two.  You can really see the difference with the shine and the 3D effect.  I must add that anyone thinking about working with polymer clay, should invest in a dremel.  This one piece of equipment can save a lot of time finishing your project and the results are amazing.

I mentioned in my previous post that I made two hinged pegboard stands for holding my buttons and pins.  I am pretty happy with the way they turned out.

Obviously, I have a lot more to make to fill this one.  Not to mention the second one that's sitting empty in my studio!  You can see a few of my pins on the right side.  I plan to work on some additional leaf pins this week.  Then, maybe pumpkins, or ghosts, or......you get the idea.

Here's one of my leaf pins and some football pins {these aren't quite finished yet}

Til next time.... stay safe and be happy!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Fall is in the Air

Again, time has passed and I haven't had the opportunity to post.  The good news is the home repairs are almost done.  It seemed that the flood gates opened {no pun intended} when we had our flood in August.  Just a few more things to be done; hopefully in the next two weeks, then things will return to normal.  Anyone owning a home can understand the stress of dealing with multiple repairs while trying to maintain a normal work routine.  Luckily, I am able to work at home, so that has helped tremendously.

In between all the house issues, I have had a little time to work with my clay.  My neighbor is a football fan and a nurse and asked me if I could make her a football pin she could wear to work.  I did, and it turned out so cute, I am now making more for a fall craft weekend show we will be doing in three weeks.  I hope to get some more completed and photographed by the end of this week.  I'll post them when I get a chance.

I also made two hinged pegboard stands for hanging my buttons and pins.  I really need to get busy and make more variety, so I can fill the boards up!    

Till next time, stay safe and be happy.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Work, work, work......

I meant to get a lot of claying done this past week.  However, we had a flood downstairs and I have been dealing with clean-up, insurance, plumbers, etc.  Between my regular job and the mess, it left little time to create!

I'm slowly building up my stock on buttons.  I have a cricut and cut out some cards to attach the buttons to.  I initially used a larger stamp {the black and grey buttons on the right}, with initials of my company, then switched to smaller letters, which I think look better.  My goal is to get a stamp with my logo; just need to find out if I can incorporate the entire design on a stamp no wider than an inch.  I think that will make the card look a lot more professional.
I made a second pendant with my cameo mold.  I actually used leftover clay for the mold, thinking I would cover it with silver pearlex powder.  While lightly sanding the piece, the powder on the background came off and now you can see the "marbled" background.  I need to decide if I want to make the background a little darker to cover the clay now showing or for contrast.  I textured and brushed the black back piece with pearlex powder and applied small swarovsky crystals at the corners to add some subtle bling.
Years ago, I was playing around with clay and made an owl.  It has been sitting, doing nothing since.  Well, now you see them everywhere; we even saw them all over the place when we went to Gatlinburg in July.  So, I am making more.  My goal is to make them in all shapes, sizes and colors.  Because football season is just around the corner, my first new piece is done in Raven's colors!  I wanted to make a pendant that could be used as a necklace, as well as a pin.  I made the bail from 20 gauge non tarnish silver colored copper wire and elevated the area for the pin to allow it to sit right.  The only thing left it to sand and polish with liquid wax.
Finally, last weekend, I bought some clear repositionable window decals, in the hopes of making one for my car.  What better way to advertise, right??  Well, as the windows are tinted, you couldn't see the first decal I made.  So, I decided to print a color copy and place that between two of the clear decals.  Not sure how well it will hold up, I may have cut the clear paper too small to keep closed.  It's lasted a week, with a lot of rain. 
I would love to find a large enough magnet sheet or white blank decal to use.  I may have to see what I can find online to order one.

Well, it's back to creating today.  At least for a few hours.

Til next time, be happy and stay safe.....

Sunday, August 4, 2013

The cool days of August

It's only a few days into August and we are having beautiful weather.  All the windows are open and the breeze is blowing in.  It almost feels like the start of Fall...and I love it!

We had a show recently at a local fire hall flea market.  There were a lot of open spaces; we aren't sure why so many people didn't show, unless they were anticipating storms.  The week before was pretty wet.  Even the customers were few and far between.  There were vendors with flea market items as well as some crafters. 

Here's a shot of our set-up....
We decided to go light with our items, due to the possibility of a storm mixed with the projected heat and short show hours. 

I dedicated one table to my polymer and kumihimo...
The other table had a mix of beaded jewelry and polymer frames, bowls, buttons and a clock...
The day was slow but our neighbor vendor mentioned a Fall show coming up in October.  I hadn't heard of the show before, but, was able to speak to the coordinator of the show and learned it was a two day event at a large fairground. 

The application for the show is complete and now the rush is on to build up my inventory.  I'm hoping the location and size of this show brings in a lot of shoppers getting ready for Christmas.  Stay tuned to see what's been on my work table.

Til next time, be happy and stay safe...........   

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The muse continues

I can't tell you what a difference it makes to have a dedicated space for my work.  I have been able to spend time, each evening, working on my inventory.

At a recent show, a man asked if I had any cameo pins, as he wanted to buy one for his mother.  This was the second request I had for a pin in the last two shows.  Well, that got me thinking that I may need to expand my stock.

I happened to have a cameo pendant, so I made a mold and started to work.  Here is the final result...
Now, the photo makes the pin look huge, but it's actually a little more than an inch and a half in diameter.  It has a lot of detail on the base, which I highlighted with copper gilders paste.  A simple twist of black finishes the edge.

Historically, cameos are actually carvings of a raised design in one color, on a background of a contrasting color.   When I think of them, I usually think vintage Victorian jewelry.  Truth is, they go wayyy back to ancient times, some dating back to the 3rd century B.C.  Initially hand carved, now-a-days, cameos can be carved by hand or with a machine.  Google cameos and you will find a multitude of photos.  I really admire the skill and artistry required to complete these beautiful pieces.

I have some more cameos I am working on, and decided to break from the traditional white on black.  I mixed up some faux jade {thank you Cindy Lietz for the great tutorial!} and finish them for the show we have Saturday.

Here's what I need to finish sanding, buffing and putting on the background....
I'm hoping that when these cameo pieces are nice and shiny, they pop!  Also pictured are a few extra faux jade pieces and some more buttons. 

Till next time, stay safe and be happy.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Been a while

Well, I know it's been a long time since I last posted.  Things have been busy around here; between work, shows, birthday parties, vacations, and, my daughter deciding to move to Florida {she took my 2 year old grandson. 8^( }  I must admit, I lost my muse for a while there.  

Had a break and went to Gatlinburg, TN, for a week, then to Kingsport, TN, for a family reunion.  I may have posted in the past about the Great Smoky Mountains, but, I need to once again say how beautiful they are.  There is something about that area that really relaxes me. 

This is the view of Gatlinburg from the top of the Sky Lift. 
We took a day and drove over the Smokies to Cherokee NC.  The morning drive was pretty foggy and you couldn't really see the views from the overlooks.  Going back was clear and the mountain views were breath taking!  If you ever have the opportunity to visit this area of the country, you won't be dissappointed.  What a place to relax, unwind and reconnect.

Gatlinburg has an eight mile stretch of craft shops with all sorts of artisans.  You can find anything from scented candles, to wood working, handmade lamp shades, and jewelry, to name a few.  Going through them, I finally got my muse back. 

Once home, I got to work on setting up my craft room.  Since my daughter moved, I now had a room to delegate to my crafts.  The first thing I had to do was make some tables.  I have been thinking, for weeks, on what I wanted and already had the room organized in my head.  It took two days, but with help from my 15 year old {and several trips to Home Depot!}, the tables were finally done.  With plans to have my grand daughter down for a few days, I wanted to be able to use the room {I'm teaching her to clay.}  I didn't have time to paint the tables, and actually can't decide if I want to paint them or stain them.
They may not look like much, but, I am very pleased and proud with the results.  I even put mitered corner trim along the edges!  As you can see, the tables are already loaded.  I have space for my Dream Machine {the larger pasta machine on the left corner of the front table}, and set up one of my old Amaco's for my grand daughter {on the right}.  The table against the wall holds my Cricut and laptop, along with other supplies.  I still need some shelves and a little better organization so I don't have to rummage through drawers, but, that will come.  You can just see a futon on the lower right corner, but, I plan to make another table for my sewing machines when I can figure out where to put the futon.  Another plus, now that I have a separate designated craft space, my kitchen has finally been de-junked.

I've spent the last two days working on new items and am planning on adding buttons, mosaics, and am going to attempt polymer stained glass look for small glass vessels to use with tea lights.  Below are the first buttons I finished, and another mod cane just made.
 All in all, it's been a very pleasant two weeks and I look forward to using my new space for many creative endeavors.

Til next time, stay safe and be happy.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

What I've been up to

Well, besides work at my regular job, that is....  I've sent off applications for four craft shows coming up in the next few months.  We are doing our first county Ag center show in June.  I have never done this one and am looking forward to it.  I'm also hoping that the crowds are out and looking to buy!

A few months ago, I posted about torn water color beads I was making, as well as one of the necklace/earring sets I completed. 

I made several sheets in different colors to use and made many beads one weekend.  I finally got around to stringing the red and purple beads this weekend, and made additional beads in a light green.

Here is the red set.

I've been wanting to add ribbon to my necklaces for a while.  Since I recently found a local shop that carried the flat end crimps, I was able to stock up and put a set to use here.  I just love the color; the ribbon and swarovski crystals matched perfectly.

This is the purple set.

In my opinion, you can't go wrong with adding white glass beads to most pieces, and I try to add swarovski crystals, if I'm lucky enough to have matching or complimenting colors. 

I made another bowl and a ring thing to add to my stock.  I'm hoping they will be popular with the crowds, as I am seeing a lot of polymer bowls on pinterest and when browsing tutorials.

Here is my first attempt at polka dots!

And last, but not least, I wanted to use a new set of Wilton's Blossom cookie cutters I just bought, but also wanted a funky look.  Here's what I came up with.

I used two different sized heart cutters on the blossoms and used one of the smaller cutters to make the bottom piece.  I used the same clay sheet and baked it on a glass ornament to make the curved shape.  Then, I flipped it over and used liquid clay to attach the pieces and baked one last time.  My 14 year-old thinks it looks "neat", so I may want to make some more for the younger crowd!

Well, have to get back to my drawing pad and see what other ideas I can come up with.  I'll post the items above on my website later today.  If you're interested, just go to DreamWeaversDesigns.net.  Remember, I can also make custom bowls and ring things if you don't see something that suits your needs.  Feel free to send me a message!

Til next time, stay safe and be happy.

Monday, April 15, 2013


If you do any art, you may experience what most artists do, at one time or another.  After a day of claying yesterday, I woke this morning and gazed at the mod cane bowl I made.  I just wasn't happy with the way it looked.  I decided to add a purple background and feet to elevate the bowl.

Here is the result......

To me, the purple background makes the bowl a little more striking, and the feet give it a larger appearance.  I'm very pleased with this redo!

On a roll, I made another bowl using some leftover leopard cane I had.  This time, I added a brown background and round feet covered with the leopard print.  The shape is still free form and wavy, but a little more symmetrical.

I also decided to polish the bowls with liquid wax and love the shine!!

Til next time, stay safe and be happy.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Funky bowl

I can't believe it's mid April already.  The weather has finally improved, though we had temps in the high 80's to 90 last week.  Boy, it was hard to keep the air conditioner off.  Thankfully, it passed and this weekend has been gorgeous!

My daughter spent yesterday organizing my "craft room", which is in the middle of my kitchen.  I bought an 8 drawer rolling cart from Staples a few weeks ago and she straightened, stocked and labeled all the drawers for me.  What a great help!  Now I don't have to dig through a million boxes to find what I want.  I still have some things that need to be better organized {boy, you forget all the stuff you buy!}, but I finally felt like claying today. 

I found a new bead shop, not too far from us, and am thrilled to have some place to go where I can get the jewelry findings I need and thinner satin cording for my kumihimo.  I'm still working on home goods and am making ring things and bowls.

Here's my first ring thing.....

It's kind of hard to see in this picture, but the impressed lines have been filled with silver mica powder.  I have many ideas for this item and look forward to seeing them to fruition.

Here is my first funky bowl....

It measures approximately 5 inches in diameter.  The top layer was made from a cane I made with my Makin's extruder.  You can't see in this picture, but the back was a layer of black tinged translucent clay.  I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out, and like the ring thing, have many more ideas.

I hope to get both of these items listed on my web site tonight.  It's still a work in progress, but feel free to stop by.

Till next time, stay safe and be happy!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

New site

We had a busy first show of the season on Saturday.  Although the crowds were light, we were pleased with the sales, and had the opportunity to chat with a few other vendors.  The day passed quite quickly.  I must say it was the first chance we had to use the Square to accept credit cards.  It was great!  Very easy to use, the ability to take a picture of the item you are selling and you can text or e-mail the receipt to the customer.  There is a small fee per transaction, but, the Square itself was free.  I was even able to order a second one for my daughter to use.  I think it arrived in 2 days.  If you are interested in an easy method for accepting credit cards in your business, I highly recommend it.  Just go to square.com.    

Her is part of our set-up from Saturday with my daughter.

I have been spending this week redesigning my website and am slowly adding items for purchase.  My goal is to have it completely set-up with new pictures of our items posted in the next week or so.  I hope you will stop by and let me know what you think.  I still have some tweeking to do though!

You can visit the site at DreamWeaversDesigns.net

Til next time, stay safe and be happy!!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Adventures in Clock Making

Well, it's almost spring and we are getting ready for our first show of the year.  Hard to believe it's been four months since our last show. 

As usual, I've been busy trying to get some new items ready.  I really want to get into making more home items and bought some wooden pieces at Michaels to use for clocks.  I made several clocks already, thinking if I made the clay thick enough, they would be fine.  What I have noticed is they tend to bend when warm.  Not sure if I need to try to bake them more, so they will get harder, or what.  I may have to try to put another layer of clay on with an old CD disc for more stability...we'll see.

Here is the first wooden backed clock I made.  I wanted to make something with a southwestern theme and used a drawing program I found on the internet {inkscape.com} to come up with a design.  The pattern looked pretty good on paper, but when I attempted to replicate it on the clock, I realized the pieces were going to be too big for the clock base.  I changed the pattern to be able to have large enough tiles.  The colors are brown, turquoise and a terra cotta type mix, with a white/ecru mix for the background.  At first I wanted to have the background under the other tiles, with a faux leather imprint {using crinkled foil} and an umber wash.  I baked this layer, though I wasn't too happy that there were areas of air bubbles.  I applied my hand mixed colored tiles, again impressed with the foil and baked.  Low and behold, there were still some bubbles.  I let the clock sit for a day and when I went back to it, I wasn't happy with the look.  I decided to back fill the entire area with the ecru mix to make it look somewhat mosaic.  Using alcohol, I wiped off the excess background that was covering my colored tiles, causing the ecru color to fill the crinkled areas of the colored tiles.  This wasn't intentional, but I kind of liked the look it gave.  Finally, I used the foil again on the background and baked one last time.

Ok.... now I was ready to paint the remaining wood and attach my clock component.  Easier said then done.  What I didn't realize was, the wooden base was too thick to allow the stem of the clock component to go through, allowing enough stem to attach the clock hands on the front.  Great, now I needed to find another component with a longer stem, which I haven't been able to find, or remove some of the wood base on the back to allow an appropriate fit.  So, I spent this morning using a box cutter and screwdriver and fashioning a recessed area on the back.  Finally, after several hours {there has to be a better way to do this}, the clock component fit.  I used terra cotta paint on the sides of the clock, with metallic copper dry brushed over top, and painted the entire back copper, attached the component and put in the battery.  Voila, finally done.          

Til next time, stay safe and be happy!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Sharing the joy

I had the pleasure of having my oldest granddaughter with me this weekend.  We were pretty busy!  I was showing her different crafts and we made a kumihimo bracelet, soap and a polymer clay heart.  It's nice to have someone to share crafting with; maybe she'll carry on the tradition.

Here she is working on her kumihimo.....
and, the finished bracelet.....
 Here is a sample of some soaps we made.....
and lastly, her hand formed and stamped polymer clay heart...
hers is on the left!

I think all that activity tired her out; it's 7:30 and she just said goodnight!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Busy Weekend

Been busy making beads all weekend, but did have a chance to string a necklace with the blue torn water color beads from my last post.
I love pairing polymer clay with crystals {I used blue and clear with some white glass beads}.  I also made a pair of earrings to match.
I recently caught up on my viewing of the polymer clay tutorials from Cindy Lietz.  I think I found a new favorite technique.  Jasper stones come in many different colors; red, blue, green, tan and brown, to name a few.  Cindy's faux Jasper tutorial was very easy to follow and I think I made a dozen or so beads. 

Here are just a few waiting to be made into pendants or necklaces.
I love the shine I was able to get with my new Dremel 4000.  I have a grinder/buffer, but need some space to set it up.  This new dremel is electric {my old one was battery operated and didn't hold a charge too long}.  Mind you, the pads that come with the dremel don't work too well for shining polymer.  I happened to fine some cotton batting I bought years ago and cut some circles out and attached it to the dremel with one of the screws included with the set.  The batting is very soft and does such a good job, I may use this for my smaller pieces from now on. 

Til next time, stay safe and be happy.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

New beads

We have our first show of 2013 coming up in March and I need some new inventory.  I make a lot of polymer clay pendants that we sell with cording {hence the kumihimo strands}, but  I decided I want to add to my necklace and earring sets.

I subscribe to polymer clay tutorials by Cindy Lietz @ http://www.beadvideos.com/ .  If you have any interest in trying polymer clay, her videos are very easy to follow and she makes everything sooo easy!  You can't beat the price either.  I also spend a lot of time searching through the internet for information on different techniques (you can find tons of free tutorials out there! - just google polymer clay}. 

While some of my favorite techniques are mica shift and mokume gane, I recently came across a tutorial for torn water color.  Now, I had seen this a while ago, but for some reason, didn't give it much thought or work.  Well.....I'm on a roll now.  I've been making different colored sheets to make into beads and have multiple colors in the works.

Here are some beads ready to go into the oven. {My two favorite colors!}

Here are a few already baked waiting for sanding...

  I just finished applying liquid wax to the blue beads...

I still have red, green, and yellow sheets to work on.  Once I complete a necklace/earring set, I'll take another picture and post it.

Til next time, stay safe and be happy!

Monday, February 4, 2013

More Kumihimo

For those repeat viewers, let me know what you think of the new look of my blog.  I felt I needed a change and wanted to lighten it up some.  

Been busy working on some more kumihimo strands for our show in March.  I've been lucky and  found several resources on the internet and have been experimenting with different patterns.

This is one of the patterns I found for a 20 strand.  I wanted to make a slightly thicker necklace and  used red, orange and yellow for the strand.  I probably should have used black for an accent, vs white, but I think this one turned out pretty good.  I figured it can be used alone or with a pendant.

Here are a few others made with different patterns.  You can see the pattern a little better in the orange one in this picture.  I'm almost done adding the hand wrapped clasps to all of the strands I made.

Below is a finished bracelet I made with our Baltimore Raven's colors.....just in time for the superbowl win!!!  Way to go team!!!!  This pattern matches the blue and silver one above.  You may be able to see the raised black strand a littler better in the bracelet, than the blue above.

Til next time, stay safe and be happy.