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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Looking for Something Special?

Faux Demin Mini Vessel
Is there someone in your life that is impossible to buy for? For me, it is my mom. By now she seems to have everything and then some. Over the years, she seems to have picked up all sorts of stuff, so finding something different can be a trick. I always want to give her something that will stand out and be unique.

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

Circle in a Square Extruder Cane - New tutorial










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 Scupture for Challenge

Green Dragon by FantasyClay
Each month the Artfire Polymer Clay Guild has a challenge; this month the theme is medieval. What could be a better theme. It does have to be a new item in the store, made just for the challenge. Sometimes I cheat and use an item I had never bothered to list before, but shhhh, that's my secret. This month however, I was inspired to try something push myself and try something more.

Ok so dragons aren't actually new for me but this one is quite a bit larger than usually and isn't just laying on the ground. He's up off the ground- yes I'm pushing myself using armature more and each scale was applied separately. Took a long time but relaxing in a way. 

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

No more Fingerprints

Wrestling Couple Cake Topper
Grim Reaper
Now this seems like a weird juxtaposition. Happy wedding couple and the Grim Reaper but I have a link. So yes I did get the new cake topper done and I think it looks pretty. Even better because I decided to use a tip a found a few weeks ago on through Polymer Clay Daily on how to remove fingerprints on polymer clay. Basically all it is is using a clay softener and a brush.
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.