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, 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.