Category Archives: Polymer Clay

One Way to Reuse a Wine Bottle . . .

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So, ages ago (years ago, really), I had an idea for a cool polymer clay embellishment for an empty wine bottle.  It has taken me a long time, working in spurts, to finally finish it, but here it is:

The front shows a little cabin in the woods, with snow-covered mountains in the background.  It is a spring scene, so the birch or aspen trees have yellowy green leaves, and there are wild roses and irises in bloom.  Sigh.  It’s really not spring here (-28 degrees Fahrenheit this morning, and that’s warmed up about 20 degrees since last week!), so I’m gazing wistfully at this little clay world, willing spring to get here soon. 🙂

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The back lets you see the backyard.  The axe is stuck in the chopping block, and there’s a path back to the outhouse (you can just see that necessity – it’s in the middle left of the photo, above the irises).

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And here are a couple of close ups.

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It is for sale in my Art Fire shop, Butterscotch Grove, along with a few other things.  I’ll be going through my old never-posted stock from when I worked the Tanana Valley Farmer’s Market a few years ago and adding those items to my shop over the next week or so.  Those things will be bargains!

Because I didn’t have enough going on . . .

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I proposed a class on hand embroidery to the Fairbanks Folk School, and it was accepted! Yea! I get to teach grown-up people! Who are not my children! (Well, the class is open to people 12-years old and up, so I might be teaching somebody else’s kids, but that’s ok.)  Here’s the class description, as well as a few pictures:

Hand embroidery is an easy and enjoyable way to decorate your life. You can embellish clothing, make art pieces for your walls, and produce lovely gifts for friends and family. You can spend hours or minutes, pennies or big bucks on your projects – no matter what your commitment level or budget is, once you know the basic stitches, you can create beautiful items easily.

In the first session of Easy Embroidery, you will learn basic hand embroidery stitches, including running, back, chain, and blanket stitches (and some variations), and the French knot. In the second session, we’ll add some simple filling stitches to your sampler and begin work on a small embroidered picture that you can frame, or mount on a pillow or greeting card. You will learn how to choose the correct fabric and thread to create the look you want for future projects. In addition, you will learn several ways to transfer a design to fabric: tracing with a lightbox or window, using an iron-on transfer pen, and using dressmaker’s carbon paper.

 

Yea! Go me! (It has been awhile since I did anything creative, so I’m pretty psyched about this class.) The Folk School is interested in a class on making rag dolls, as well as possibly something with polymer clay, so I’m working on putting together a couple more classes for them.  The embroidery class is 2 2-hour sessions, 6-8 pm on October 14 and 21, 2016.  Click here to sign up!

I managed one other little creative thing last week, too.  My sister needed a pair of earrings for a friend’s birthday.  The birthday was on September 8, which was the date of the debut of the original Star Trek series in 1966.  The friend is a fan, so here’s what I came up with:

They are a little wonky, but I love them.  I’m gonna make me a pair!  If there’s enough interest, I’ll make a bunch and list them on my ArtFire shop.

 

Hearts Full of Snark for Anti-Valentine’s Day Types

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So, I’ve never been much of a Valentine’s Day-flowers-and-hearts type of girl. (Notice I did not say I object to candy or wine….)  This year – actually last year, our supermarkets broke out the conversation hearts about 3 days after Christmas.  You know, the ones that say things like “Call Me” or “Q T PIE.”  Gack.  The kids are too old to fall for my “Candy hearts are not ripe until February, you know” line anymore. (Worked for years!)

Anyway, in past years I tried making candy heart-like polymer clay charms.  It worked great, and I have a cute little bracelet loaded with them…but it’s not very me.

This year, I had a vision of a different sort of candy heart.s  Ones with the kind of messages I sometimes felt like sending back in the pre-happily-married days.  Messages like “BACK OFF” or “R U SERIOUS?”  Pastels didn’t seem to fit the idea, so I came up with these (available for purchase at my Artfire shop):

Red Hearts Full of Snark

Red Hearts Full of Snark

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White Hearts Full of Snark

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Black Hearts Full of Snark

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More Black Snarky Hearts

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Well, they ALMOST look like candy!

Smooshers Thursday – CNewcomb

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This week’s Smoosher is Chris Newcomb, aka EagleHawk.  Chris lives in Cypress, Texas (the 2nd largest state…;) ), with his wife (“the most wonderful woman I know” he says! Isn’t that sweet?) and two daughters. He is primarily a woodworker.  Something I love from his Art Fire shop‘s Artisan Gallery is this wonderful decorative violin:

More representative of Chris’s work is this gorgeous little scrollsaw ornament, which he says is “perfect for little hands to hang on the tree.”  Living as I do only a few miles from the North Pole, I had to include this one!

How does this work make Mr. Newcomb a Smoosher, you ask?  Well, although Chris is relatively new to polymer clay, he has come up the great idea of inlaying some of his woodwork with polyclay, which has resulted in some very cute keychains. 

Using wood and polymer clay together can be problematic, because of wood’s tendency to shrink and expand.  It is nice to see someone experimenting with the combination, though, because there is wonderful potential for creating beautiful items.  This is my favorite of Chris’s keychains – I love the combination of the poplar with the pearl polymer clay:

I hope you’ll have fun browsing at Chris’s Art Fire shop!

Smooshers Thursday – Crafty Baby Hope

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This week, the Smooshers spotlight lands on Jennifer, of Crafty Baby Hope.

Jennifer uses her Art Fire profits to fund treatments for secondary infertility – hence the name of her shop.  You can read about her story at her blogs, Jewelry for Hope, which is where she shows her creative side, and A Look Into My Life which is her forum for discussing her hopeful, if frustrating, experiences with MTHFR, PCOS, and endometriosis…and an active little Boy Scout called “Boober.”

She does lovely wirework, as well as polymer clay work.  I love this little bird’s nest pendant:

And this bracelet is just stunning:

Of the many adorable polymer clay items in her shop, I think my favorites are the “kawaii” things.  I had to look up what that means – “kawaii” is the Japanese word for “cute” and refers to the culture of cuteness that has developed in Japan since the 1980s.  This is the trend responsible for Hello Kitty and Pokemon, though even everyday items and food can be kawaii.  Here are some of Jennifer’s kawaii items:

I hope you’ll take the time to visit Jennifer’s shop and blog.  She is a strong lady with a lot of hope, and she makes really cute stuff!

Smooshers Thursday – Sassy Clay Creations

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This week, the guild spotlight is on Dori, of Sassy Clay Creations.  Dori has perfected the trick of layering clay to build up lovely and fun textures on her jewelry and home decor items.

This mirror would cheer me up on the worst bad hair day!

I love this little glittery white bowl.  Working with white clay is a HUGE challenge for me – mine always ends up mainly white with flecks and smears of other colors and fuzzy with dust.  This little bowl shows Dori’s meticulousness and patience.

And just look at this pretty little pin! Reminds me of childhood vacations at the ocean. (Sigh – the nearest ocean to me now is the Arctic! Br!)

Dori’s blog is Sassy Clay Creations – check out the wonderful tutorial on making Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) from polymer clay.  Her Art Fire shop is SassyClayCreations.  I hope you’ll spend a little time browsing through her lovely products and admiring her creativity.

Smooshers Thursday – ColtPixy

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Thursdays are going to be my day for profiling my guild mates from the Polymer Clay Smooshers Guild of Art Fire.  I’m pleased to start this weekly feature off with my Guild Master – ColtPixy! (Her blog is over there >>> in the blogroll.)

ColtPixy is a multi-talented artist from Tennessee.  She has worked in many different media over the years, including painting, stained glass and mosaics, and of course,  polymer clay.

She seems to have never-ending energy, though she says it’s all due to coffee.  I’m thinking I need to switch to her brand. 🙂

These are her latest creations – some of the most beautiful beetles I’ve ever seen!

She has a sense of humor, too, as you can see from these “Ticked Off Peas in a Pod.”

My daughter would kill for these miniatures, even if the mask is really a very cool little pendant!

I LOVE this pendant – it’s so simple and striking.

Ok, that’s all I’ll show you, but I hope you’ll go visit ColtPixy’s Art Fire shop or check out her Flickr pages to see all the lovely things (like amazing mica shift work and her fabulous “PixyStones”) that I couldn’t post today.  Of course, you can also go to her blog or the blog she maintains beautifully for the Smooshers.