Monday, June 28, 2010

Retro Cane Jewelry?

Here's a video of the retro charms I made,I found a quicky way to make this mod pattern. They're available in my store, FantasyClay. Be sure to use coupon code Fantasy Friends for free shipping

Friday, June 25, 2010

Trying Sulpey UltraLight - Review

I'm usually quick to try new products, I use different brands of clay for different qualities, but this is one I hadn't bothered to. I'll admit Sculpey Ultralight has been around for quite a while so it's not really a new product anymore so I may be just repeating what is already know. But like NBC used to say, If you haven't seen it, it's new to you.

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

Who Decides or Does Anyone?

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

Fishy Wall hanging for Challenge

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.