Saturday, December 18, 2010
Friday, December 17, 2010
There are lots of polymer clays out there, I would suggest Premo, it is stronger than Sculpy 3, easy to work with and you can find it in any Michael's, AC Moore or Hobby Lobby. You can also buy it online, PolymerClayExpress sells it at $2.00 a bar and is always fresh. If you buy it in a store, squeeze the bar, it should give at least a little- if it doesn't, it's not fresh and you should probably pass it by if it is really hard.
As for tools, when you are your hands and needle tool or even toothpick will work. A slicing tool helps too, tissue blades are great but very sharp, there are also round metal cutters if you don't want to risk cuts. The only other thing is to be sure to have a cookie sheet or pan you won't use for food again. Polymer clay bakes at about 270F, you can use your own oven, some people suggest making a tent of aluminum foil over the items.
That's it for tools and materials, then you can jump in and start to play. Squish the clay, see what other colors you can make. You can pick up some easy tutorials online and simple books in your local craft store. I found it fun to make cute creatures in the beginning. I started out because this looked like a fun to for my son and we both fell in love with it. Even if you just have fun making teddy bears like I did for years, nothing feels as good as working with your hands and maybe it can be a way to connect with someone you love.
Saturday, October 23, 2010
|Santa on the Beach|
And remember free shipping through the holiday season- no coupons needed. Outside of the US, Canada and UK, shipping a flat 2.00. This includes all items, not just the Christmas items. So check out FantasyClay on Artfire for some unique Christmas gifts and keep in mind custom is always an option, so if you want something special like a personalized ornament- just contact me from my store- you don't need to sign up or anything.
Sunday, September 26, 2010
|Flying Green Dragon Necklace|
Unfortunately my commute is on the long side and the day is long. It's only been 2 weeks so I am still adjusting to the change in my schedule. For the first time in a long time, I am feeling a time crunch. I have been falling behind everywhere. Now it's time to catch up.
Thursday, September 2, 2010
|Detail of Fish|
|Fish in the River Reeds Sculpture|
I actually got this sculpture down. I signed up for an online class with Christi Friesen, that name comes up again and again doesn't it. My record for actually doing the project in these classes is less than 50% but this one I did. Even before the actually class was over. As you can see it is reeds and grass and rocks with a little fish jumping out.
This was one project that took quite a bit of time and effort but in the end I feel really proud of it. It is about six inches tall and although it is for sale in my shop, click here for Polymer Clay River Reed Sculpture, it will probably be another piece that I can enjoy in my house for a while. It makes a nice piece for my living room.
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
|Faux Demin Mini Vessel|
A few years ago, I came upon the answer. Giving an unique handmade gift means I know she won't have it all ready. Artfire.com is filled with all sorts of specialties, not just handmade but vintage gifts and indie designer items. I've come across handmade tea pots to luxurious bath supplies to striking jewelry and everything in between.
Christmas is still a little bit a way but I tend to start early I have so many gifts to get and so many people who are difficult to shop for. Sometimes the hardest part of shopping handmade is stopping myself from buying to much. For all those people in your life who you want to give something more to, handmade can be the way to go and Artfire has something for everyone and they make it easy for you. No need to sign up for an account like other handmade venues, you can buy without every having to make up a password or user name. If you have a special request, you can contact any artisan without signing up as well.
Monday, August 23, 2010
|Mod Circle in A Square Wine Glass Charms|
Remember this cool cell phone charms I made in the beginning of the summer. The best part of them was how it easy it was to make that complex looking cane that I used to made the charms. Although I didn't invent the method, I decided to write it up to share, since this was probably the easiest cane I have ever made.
I posted the Circle in A Square tutorial on Claylessons.com. This is a free tutorial it's your for the taking and give these a chance, they're too each to pass up.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
|Green Dragon by FantasyClay|
I had fun making him, I admit to having some inspiration from Dinko Tilov's books but I think I added a enough of myself to make him special.
Don't worried, he doesn't bite, I've noticed the green dragons tend to be pretty easy going, unlike their very fierce red brethren.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
|Wrestling Couple Cake Topper|
All you need to do is after you are all done, placed on the baking surface and ready to bake, just brush the entire piece with Sculpey liquid clay softener. I found using a slightly stiffer brush works better.
I have clay softener around just because I bought it years ago and never used it because it made a mess, turned everything to goo. But finally it has a purpose. Better yet it really works. I tried it on this wedding couple and what a difference it makes. All those little smears and tweeks to get rid of fingerprints, yet still leave a mark are gone. I usually spend forever trying to cover my mark on a piece like that and never get anywhere.
I used it on the Grim Reaper I made for my girlfriend's birthday. This time I just smoothed things out and started painting it on. It's hard to see with all the black but you can really tell on the sickle. And no I didn't use any glaze on high. It comes out that smooth.
This is one technique I wish I learned years ago. Saved me so much time and with better results than I could get with out this. It even worked on some textured pieces and on the smart bits like the roses. So if fingerprints are the bane of your existence, pick up some sculpey softener, although I think I remember being told you could use baby oil to soften clay, so that might work too.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
|Curly Haired Girl on Artfire|
Even though I made her for the challenge, she is available in my Artfire shop, FantasyClay
Sunday, July 18, 2010
Compiling all these list, here are a few and my thoughts on them. What do you think?
1. Don't wear a watch, young people use their cell phone for the time.
Personally I've been wearing a watch since I started college when I realized there were bells to change classes and clocks except in class rooms. Yes I'm attached to my cell phone too but it easier just to look down then pull out my phone.
2. Don't leave voice mail messages.
The young thing to leave a text message. Well this only works for cell phones and if you are working in an office, VM is the only way to go. If working in a real job, makes me old, I'd rather be old.
3. Don't eat or make pot roast.
Pot roast is yummy and a great comfort food, even the list I found it on admitted that. Why give up an easy, yummy meal because it might seem old?
4. Don't lust after the lifeguard.
Damn what are lifeguards for anyway. Admittedly he is too young for you but if you are just looking, why not? Guys do it all the time.
5. Don't listen to Springsteen.
I assume they mean anyone from that time Billy Joel is my addiction.Although there is the caveat you can listen in private but don't let people know. One secret, my 16 year old complained she liked my music(even though she found it on her own) because it was easier to listen too and actually made sense. Maybe we're just ahead of the curve on this one.
6. Email is old.
IM or text instead. Again, if you work in a grown-up world or want to have a record of it, try living without email.
7. Break That Saturday Night Sex Routine
Actually it is no one's business when you have sex, so plan or don't plan- just enjoy it.
8. Don't Tweet anything or have a Facebook status that gives away your age.
If you are using Twitter or Facebook for fun, and it should be, why try to hide who you are
There were a few that make sense but more because they are good advice for anyone, although admittedly older people seem to be more guilty of some of these.
1.When someone is waiting for your parking spot, don't take forever to pull out.
2. Enough With The Seinfeld, Already!
Good god, it's been off the air for almost 15 years, get over it.
3. Don't drink Cosmos.
They were a silly drink anyway that didn't taste very good anyway.
4. Don't tweet about every detail of your or your kids' lives.
It's harsh but no one really cares.
5. Get comfortable with technology
6. Don't drive 40 mph in the left lane.
Trying to act like you are still a kid when you are twice as old as them, just makes you seem older. My sister is still claiming she is 25 when she is past 40. It seems more pathetic than young. Stay on top of things - keep up with the world and be able to use the technology and keep learning.
But if you are coming up on middle age or beyond, you should have learned to be comfortable in your own skin by now. Who are you trying to impress? Are you still wearing stilettos to the office everyday to impress the other girls (yes those early 20's are girls). You know what is right for you by know, run with it.
Monday, June 28, 2010
Friday, June 25, 2010
One main reasons I didn't try it was because it only comes in in white. Mixing up colors and playing with them is really my favorite part of polymer clay. I didn't want to have to paint it when I was done.
I wasn't looking to make floating projects (yes it floats) or the super delicate flowers they always seem to have as an example for Sculpey Ultralight. Again this just isn't my style.
Like I said, Sculpey Ultralight just didn't draw me in, so why am I writing about it? I had bought a tutorial that called for Sculpey Ultralight to use to make molds. I purchased Ultralight but have yet to get back to that tutorial either. It has been sitting on the side for a while now. This week I decided to make a few larger wall hangings and decided to use Ultralight as the middle layer between the wire mesh and the front partly because I had actually run out of scrap clay.
It worked well and of course the wall hanging were lighter. I also found out it can be mixed with regular polymer clay for color, so actually used it for the back and middle. I could make Christmas ornaments without worrying they were getting too heavy. OK I was stubborn but I can admit when I'm wrong.
It does take a little getting used too. Ultralight feels completely different from regular polymer clay. It feels dryer, sort of light suede and not at all sticky. I wasn't sure if I liked how it worked in the pasta machine but it did work.. Mixing the colors required a little bit more work too but the results were worth it. The package says it is good for armatures, so I tried that as well. I'm still partial to a little wire and foil for support but the ultralight was great for that layer between the foil and the outer layer. The Ultralight smooth into the foil well and still stays smooths on the outer surface. Probably because it can compress a bit more.
I probably will use it mainly as a filler rather than make my final designs with it. I still do prefer the colors of clays like Premo and Cernit but it does help my overall work easier and lighter.
Thursday, June 24, 2010
|Room for One More|
I'm going to go off track here and get a little philosophical. When I was young I felt I was in control of what happened to me and I decided how things would turn out. I made the decision where I went to school, what to study, and on and on. Looking back, it doesn't seem so clear cut. It seems so much more random.
I'm not saying this is a bad thing but randomness seems play a much bigger role than those decisions I thought I had made. Even the decisions seem to be based more on chance circumstances than anything else.
Just the story of how I met my husband is a total example of that. I went to an engineering school, mainly because I didn't know what else I was going to do and my dad and uncle had gone there. I started riding in with my mom's friend's daughter, Michele. Actually I haven't seen her since but she placed a big part in this.
My husband and I were on two different tracks so we never would have met if he didn't decide later to switch to the English class his friend was in. Actually I didn't really notice him. I was more interested in his friend with his long hair. Slowly though we started talking before class and he seemed nice, more of a friend. But nothing came of it.
Soon it was April, our freshman year was coming to a close. By then I knew I wasn't coming back in the fall- I was going to be on academic probation and I was overwhelmed by the classes. I had told Michele of this cute guy in my class but it was going nowhere. We happened to walk by the video arcade/game room which had a glass wall. I noticed him and pointed him out to show her what he looked like. She just said, if he wasn't making a move, I should just ask him out which I brashly did, not even accepting his first answer.
Twenty five years later, we are still together, from a chance meeting to a glimpse in the arcade to a friend who gave me a push to a married 4 years later. I guess I made a few decisions there- like asking him out, but the random circumstances allowed the decision to come about. But it seems this was just one in thousands of little events that build a life. How much do we really decide and how much is based on what just happens?
To some this may be mindblowing and frustrating but this randomness seems to me a freedom. We have some say but so much is out of our hands. This can allow you not to question every choice you ever made. Maybe that so-called bad "choice" wasn't even yours to make. You can let go of trying to control your life and just enjoy the way it is going now. Is there a design or chance, I don't know but I do know much of my life happened with my say, all the way back to which sperm hit which egg.
Don't sweat every choice, you may look back and realize, you really had no say anyway. Just enjoy the outcome.
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
This month Oceans was the Polymer Clay Smoosher's Challenge theme. I was so backed up getting it done because I was busy getting ready for AnimeNext. I made so many figures and anime items, I had no time for anything else. I now have tons of anime characters since I didn't sell much. Making this wall hanging felt like nirvana because it felt so organic. I was free to go where I wanted with it and I could just let it flow out. Colors could blend and come apart, seaweed could squiggle.
This felt so good after making figures someone else had designed and there was a look I had to achieve - think of drawing SpongeBob, everyone knows what he is supposed to look like. If you made a SpongeBob, you have to make it look like SpongeBob. I can make those figures but I'd rather not. Although I did learn a bit more about doing armatures making so many but that is a subject for another day.
So here is my piece for the Smoosher's challenge, it should go up on Smoosher Guild Blog tomorrow. I hope I entered it on time but even if I didn't I had fun making it. I love smooshing the clay.
Friday, May 28, 2010
Memorial day weekend marks the beginning of the summer season. It's time for beaches and pools and BBQs. I'll admit here the beach weather doesn't real roll in until the end of June but people start going down the shore (hey I'm from Jersey, it's the shore, not the beach). Time to hit the waves and play in the sand.
So enjoy your weekend, honestly we know we're thinking 3-day weekend and summer is coming, not really remembering, but what the hee-haw, this is the USA!
Saturday, May 22, 2010
Today I'm going to an Art Therapy day, I've been going on and off since the mid 90's, although there was a about a 5 year break at one point. Usually I go up with my mom. It's run by a really nice woman, Sr. Bridget. It's creative, relaxing, spiritual. I usually leave with some bad art artwork but lots of good feelings. It's even helped me work out some issues, so there is some point to it. I'm like that fairy gazing into the sky- wondering but not knowing. That's how each of these days start. You don't need to be an artist to do artwork, when it flows, it just feels good.
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
This weekend I sold this little beauty, a steampunk dragon I made in January, so it's really not that long. The flip side is I have lots of dragons and I've only sold a few(less than 5). I love making them and doing creative things like that, as you've seen I've also finally started just making them as jewelry. I admit, like this it doesn't really seem to have much useful value.
Then this weekend not only did I sell a set of meeples(which are made to order) but also the complete set which put the price tag over 250. My husband wants me to concentrate on the items that sell - like the meeples and more anime charaters. I don't mind the sales at all, basically they support my habit, yes I am an addict. For now I guess I will continue on as I am going but I wish my items, the ones I really make up, would sell me. Maybe this dragon sale is a precursor.
Monday, May 17, 2010
Thanks for the boot in the butt, it seems to have paid off, I made of bunch of new stuff, took pictures, even better made three sales. I also decided to get off my ass and actually sign up for a real craft show. I've been nervous about it.
I thought this necklace looked cool. I made it using a tutorial from Christi Freisen. My daughter says steampunk is out but I love the old industrial look. I now just have to go and list all this stuff on artfire and make a buch of meeples.
Thanks everybody who helped!
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Just playing around with different ideas, I finally though of doing an open winged polymer clay dragon. Both of these have a fiercer look than most of my dragons but I kind of like it. The big difference is what I did when they were finished.
When making them though, I wondered what to do with these, they would work as a focal bead. I decided rather than leave them unfinished, I'd just add add the chain to each wing. So for once I am actually making finished jewelry, I sold the steampunk dragon already. They really seem to bring the magic to you. As always, I love custom orders, if you would like a slightly different one, check out my Artfire store to order a custom one.
Thursday, April 8, 2010
I had fun making this necklace, yes necklace- not just a pendant like usual but a finished necklace. The gears on the side of the heart are connected to the chain. I loved the idea of a metallic red to silver heart that has stood the test of time. This isn't the heart for the weak, this heart has been battered and repaired but is still going strong. It's available in my FantasyClay Artfire store now. It's not a traditional mother's day gift but then not all mother's are traditional.
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
I am always looking for new things to make in polymer clay, and also going back to old favorites. I've been indulging more frequently in some books but tutorials are a big part of how I got to where I am today. Ok maybe you don't want to be demented like me but in case you are looking for ideas or a jumping point, I put together a list of some of my favorite polymer clay tutorials. They just a page away.
This list is as much for me as you. Putting it all together in one place helps. Most of them are free, the few I added that weren't, really are worth looking at though, namely Christi Friesen's. But still try one or two of her free ones to get an idea. I fear mine is still not free but I will be putting up a free version again soon.
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
1. Color! My very first reason for loving polymer clay- not just that it comes in so many colors but that I can mix just about every color of the rainbow myself. The better clays come in artist colors so making the colors I want is at least half the fun. You can mix colors completely or leave them marbled to create different effects that stay after baking.
2. Baking! It is easy to cure a piece, you just have to bake it in a regular oven at 230-270 degrees, no kiln needed, so you can jump right it. And you can bake it over and over with a problem.
3. Metallics! I admit it, you can't make every color - like metallic colors that shimmer but several clays have create metallic colors that shimmer and gleam. Personally I think Premo ranks on this.
4. Faux Items! You can use it create almost any effect, I've seen "denim" buttons that look I thought were fabric, faux gemstones, rocks, flowers, trees- almost any item can be made out of polymer clay.
5. Firm yet Smooth! Most polymer clays are firm enough to add tiny details and textures, to be able to add beads and all sorts of mixed media. Still most are not to difficult to condition so they are smooth and easy to work with. It sticks to itself when raw.
6 Great for Beginners We all start as beginners.You can find polymer clay in most craft stores. Polymer clay only requires your hands and the clay to start. A couple of toothpicks are about the only tool you'll need. There are lots of free tutorials online.
7. Great for Experts You never can go too far with polymer clay. There is so much you can do with it - jewelry, miniatures, sculpture, I can't even think of everything and so many techniques, people come up with new one constantly. There are blends, mixed media, caning, sculpting- so many things you can do and then perfect. Polymer clay isn't something you'll ever run out of things to do with it.
These are just a few I think my truly favorite thing is that it is just fun to squish and create and enjoy!
Saturday, March 13, 2010
This is what it looks like after I blended it. It's mostly a bluish grey with a few swirls in it. I pinch off enough for one bead and put the extra aside. I'll use that to start the next bead. They'll be similar but different. No two are ever exactly the same. To get a rocky look, I mix a little of Jim Holtz's Distressing Powder, for this this rock, I'm using the black soot. It darkens it and adds some grit. I usually just drop it, the powder sticks to it and then I blend that in. Now the rock part is mostly done. I just smooth it into a "rock" shape. Since these are supposed to river rocks, I use rounded shapes and smooth edges.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
I decided to make my work a little more functional. I tried my hand at making switch plate covers. The first two are more sculptural and the other is an embossed lace design. I did a few others but so far I like these best. I definitely want to continue on this path for a while at least. I tried one with a plaid cane. It could be better, but I like the idea. I need to practice making plaid canes. I got the plaid cane tutorial here. Like I said I need to refine my technique but I'll get it. All these switch plates and more are available in my Fantasy Clay Artfire Shop.
BTW I have to give up on the giveaway blog, I just don't have the time to devote to it now. I tried getting it set up on Wordpress, because I would need multiple pages, I am never going to try that again. I was completely lost and I really wouldn't be able to give it my all.
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Just had a job interview in Manhattan, that took all day- 2 hours getting there, I admit I got a little lost on some of the streets so that added time. It was snowing this morning, my MP3 player died about 10 minutes into the train ride there. I remembered to bring but forgot to charge it. Actually it was the light rail to the PATH to the subway and the a little bit of a walk. The actual job is close by but it sounds like a great opportunity and a big step toward project management. I can do Manhatten but it's not really my first choice. Now to hope the company likes me- this was just to the recruiter.
Taking a deep breath. I left today about 9 and returned after 2. Long day of travel and waiting for the interview and filling out forms. The interview only lasted about 15 minutes but it sounded optimistic. God I want to be working again. Unfortunately being home hasn't made me clay more, I just ate junk food and watched TV. I really need the outside force of going to job to make me move. And I like being around people. That's my fantasy for now even if it doesn't involve clay.
Just saying I made this little dock worker. I think I posted another a week or two ago. They're part of set. Now that's one job I don't want.
And to anyone reading this, if you have a twitter account you can nominate @ArtFire for a Shorty Award in #innovation here: http://shortyawards.com/artfire be sure to add a becasue or the vote won't count
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
These pretty little hearts,made by TheWhatKnotShop on Artfire are just a hint of what you can find for your Valentine on Artfire. If you want to give more than usual chocolates and want to give something special, check out the Artfire.com Valentine Gift Guide. I'm sure you'll be thrilled with the number of original and unique Valentine gifts, treats and jewelry you will find.
Saturday, January 9, 2010
Like this little dock worker, I'm going to keep on trying till I get this blog right. I had someone helping me this week, she made the button and the favicon- the little FC image in the address bar. I still am continuing to work on getting it just right. Unfortunately I'm going to have to get the things in my life right again too. I'm back in the job market again, trying to convince someone else to hire me. It's just like selling but now you're selling yourself to someone, convincing them you are the one who is worth having.
Wouldn't it be nice if people were banging down my door to hire me, and also to buy my polymer clay pieces. Well I'll have some free time to do more clay stuff in the next few weeks, so that is at least one bright side. Keep on heaving and hoing like this tough little dude lifting his crate. Actually he is a game piece for a board game, Le Havre , a set of 5 and 5 matching ship are available in my store