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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Concert in Clay

[caption id="attachment_977" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Billy Joel and Elton John in Concert Together"]Billy Joel and Elton John Teddies[/caption]

This has been a crazy month. Too many crises and too many changes to even remember to post. I can't believe Christmas has already come and gone. gosh 2012 will be here in less than a week. I was sorting throw my stuff and I found these two on my shelf getting dusty.

I made these two musical bears and their pianos after a Billy Joel and Elton John concert I saw almost 10 years ago. Basically at that point I  mostly made teddy bears. Billy Joel has always been my favorite singer, with Elton John also in the top 10 so this concert was a big thrill for me.

I really wanted to be sure I remembered just how much I enjoyed it, so I made a teddy to represent each. During the shop they had their pianos lined up end to end like this, so I have always displayed them like this.

[caption id="attachment_978" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Bears in Concert"]Billy Joel Teddy Bear in Concert[/caption]


In case you can't tell, Billy Joel is the one on the left, a grey bear with a black jacket and beard. Elton John of course has his sunglasses and his jacket is dusted with glitter. To be honest, it doesn't matter if anyone sees the men behind the teddies besides me. I added details like Billy's fingers on the keyboard and droopy eyes. I admit I put a lot more attention in his bear.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Polymer Clay Swirls Christmas Ornament Tutorial

 

[caption id="attachment_963" align="aligncenter" width="298" caption="Polymer Clay Red and Green Swirls Christmas Ornament"]Polymer Clay Red and Green Swirls Christmas Ornament[/caption]

I made this ornament by covering a plain glass ornament with red and green polymer clay using spirals and dots to cover it. It was actually a pretty easy project and kind of relaxing since you don't need to fuss to much about things being perfect. I used two colors but one color would be great too.

You'll need a glass ornament, green and green polymer clay, liquid polymer clay, and a sharpie (optional).

[caption id="attachment_958" align="alignleft" width="172" caption="Step 2 - draw a line around the center"]Step 2 - Add a line[/caption]

 

Step 1: Cover the entire ornament with liquid polymer clay. You just need a thin coat. This will help the polymer clay start on the ornament. Bake the ornament for about 15-20 minutes.

Step 2: Add a guide line.

When the ornament is cool, draw a line around the center as guide where the color changes. This helps keep you edge even.

 

 

[caption id="attachment_956" align="alignleft" width="175" caption="Polymer Clay Swirls"]Polymer Clay Swirls[/caption]

 

Step 3: Make a Few Basic Shapes

Roll out a few thin snakes, about 1 to 2 inches long and make some spirals or "S" shapes to start. It helps to also have to dots ready to apply to fill in any empty spaces. It helps to make a few to get started but you make more as you need them.

 

 

 

[caption id="attachment_959" align="alignleft" width="230" caption="Step 4: Adding Swirls"]Step 4: Adding Swirls[/caption]

 

Step 4: Add Spirals and Swirls

Starting at the bottom of the ball, start by placing a green spiral on the ornament and then another.Work outward, starting by adding pieces in around the edges and making a bigger and bigger circle of spirals and dots

Using dots or smaller snakes to fill in all the spaces. Sometimes it is easier to fill a narrow space, then add a curl.

Two things to keep in mind, keep the snakes a consistent width and don't over lap the spirals or dots. They don't need to be all the same size and use your imaginations to make squiggles. Continue with the swirls and dots and even teardrops to fill up all the spaces as you work your way around.

[caption id="attachment_964" align="aligncenter" width="270" caption="Step 4: Detail of swirls"]Step 4: Detail of swirls[/caption]

 

[caption id="attachment_960" align="alignleft" width="185" caption="Step 5: Changing Colors"]Step 5: changing colors[/caption]

Step 5: Changing to a new color.

When you have worked your self up to the guide line,it is time to change colors. Be sure you have reached the guide all

the way around. This helps keep it even and then you can put away the green clay and just work with the red.

Continue with the swirls and dots and even teardrops to fill up all the spaces as you work your way around until you reach the top

When you reach the top, bake the ornament according to the manufacturer's instructions.

 

[caption id="attachment_961" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Red and Green Christmas Ornament"]Red and Green Christmas Ornament[/caption]

You are all done, add a ribbon and hang it on your tree. I  added a light patina after baking to enhance the swirls.  Some other variations to try are using all one colors, adding some glitter or mica powders. I think for my next I will try using white clay with a blue patina. That could be an interesting effect. However for now I am just making these for gifts and they aren't for sale in my Artfire shop, FantasyClay

Friday, November 25, 2011

It's time for the Holidays

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Decorate with Polymer Clay

 

[caption id="attachment_946" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Wine and Grapes Switch Plate Cover"]Wine and Grapes Switch Plate Cover[/caption]

I am always looking for new things to make with polymer clay. I've done several switch plates before but I really like how this one frames the switch and really transforms a switch plate into a real decorative piece. It's being able to change the ordinary into something special that I love about polymer clay. It's small touches like this that add personality to a room and your home. Start with something small, like this Wine and Grapes Switch Plate cover in my Artfire shop.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Lengend of Zelda Cake topper

[caption id="attachment_910" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Legend of Zelda Cake Topper"]Legend of Zelda Cake Topper[/caption]

Another fun weekend of claying - this time it was a Link and Zelda cake topper. I want to try this again to refine some of the details but this looks pretty good for a first try. I listed in my shop here.    I find myself really enjoying making cake toppers. Check out my poll on Facebook here to vote your favorite idea for a cake topper or add your own ideas here on in the poll. I'd love to hear your ideas.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Back to the Grindstone

Sadly my 2 week vacation between jobs is now over. Tomorrow I start at Merck, actually I am a little (a lot) nervous.Polymer clay Nervous monster I'm not really sure of what I'll being doing and I only spoke to the hiring manager on the phone, no in person interview. So now I am panicking about over over-sleeping, getting fired, generally screwing up, getting caught in traffic.

I bought a new outfit, check my stuff again and again. I've gotten cleaned up and spritzed up.  These last two weeks have been quite nice; I've gotten quite a bit done clay-wise but now my vacation has come to an end and I have to go back to the real world. At least this time I will be driving, not using public transportation. Nicely this job is in Jersey, not New York.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Mosaics- my latest exploration

[caption id="attachment_883" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Polymer Clay Mosaic tile box and frame"]Polymer Clay Mosaic tile box and frame[/caption]

This weekend I was looking for some kind of inspiration. I just started playing around, looking for something easy to do and I wandered a few mosaics I saw that I liked on line and decided to try a few. The first thing  I made was this copper painted box.

[caption id="attachment_885" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Copper and Blue Polymer Clay Tile Mosaic"]Copper and Blue Polymer Clay Tile Mosaic[/caption]

I basically just outlined the shape on a piece of paper and then cut squares and rectangles of different colors of polymer clay rolled out on the thickest setting. After I had all the blanks in place, I then decorated each tile and put it back in its spot. I used stamps, mica powders, chalks and some gold leaf to embellish the tiles. Usually I had to trim the tile after I did because the stamping tends to make the tile spread out some.

I left the tiles on the paper to bake and then glued it on the item. I painted the box with metallic copper over blue for a distressed look. I think I want to do more. I really get drawn to analogous color schemes.

 

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Help me Mummy

[caption id="attachment_879" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Polymer Clay Mummy Figure"]Polymer Clay Mummy Figure[/caption]

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays, if only for all the cool decorations. I especially love dressing and stepping out as someone different. This mummy was something I had thought of a while ago and never got around to making it.Each individual bandage is wrapped separately and he looks like he wasn't the one who decided to dress as a mummy.

I just finished him and listed him my store. Check out the mummy boy in my Artfire store

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

I'm still standing!

Polymer Clay Knight

I'm still standing. This month has been a bummer as far as work goes. I found out my contract wasn't going to be renewed. I asked early so I might have time to prepare if needed. Well I found out in the beginning of August that my contract wasn't being renewed. I sort of stewed for a few weeks and have been looking for a new job.

I'll be honest, the job is kind of tedious and the commute sucks but I prefer having a job. Although I do admit the last lull was kind of nice. So for all that I was bummed about losing my job, I also wanted to get it finished and move on.

Last Friday was supposed to be my last day but my supervisor didn't get my replacement in until this Monday so she had asked the previous Friday to stay an extra week. I really dreaded having to do this. Admittedly my replacement has been an ok guy but I still feel like I want to let go. New guy is set and just needs to get started.

But for all this, I'm still going strong and still fighting. Looking forward to having time to spend claying and devoting some time to my real work. Hell a job is for money and honestly, we can survive pretty well without my paycheck, especially with unemployment.  It's time to move forward, cut through the muck and enjoy the good stuff.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Switch Plate Covers

[caption id="attachment_843" align="aligncenter" width="281" caption="Mermaid Switch Plate Cover"]Polymer Clay covered Mermaid Switch plate cover[/caption]

This weekend I got on a roll making switch plate covers. I did a few switch plated with tinted translucent clay, this mermaid switch plate cover was refreshing fun to make. I just used a simple idea and kept it all simple. A few twists in her curls but everything else is clean and neat.

I covered the switch plate with light blue clay then dusted it with turquoise mica powders to give it a special shimmer.  I made a few others but the general simplicity but also lots of possibilities just make me want to try more.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Lived through a life time

[caption id="attachment_824" align="aligncenter" width="219" caption="Susan and Vince Aug 4 a long time ago"]Susan and Vince wedding [/caption]

 

Last night was my 22nd anniversary and I am happy to say I am still as crazy in love as I was that very night. The best part of last night was putting on our first dance, Billy Joel's "You're My Home".  This song sums up everything I feel about our marriage.

I know I am incredibly blessed to still be mad in love with the same man I met 26 years ago. After 2 kids, a bankruptcy and more ups and downs than I can count, the one constant I always remember is seeing his face just makes me smile. It doesn't matter that we've gained weight, lost hair, got greyer; all these years later I still see that sweet shy sweetie I met in college. He is Vince to everyone else, but he is still Vinnie to me.

We've gone through rough times and came out better. A long time ago, without even talking about it, we both put each other and then our kids before jobs, money and ambition. I think that's part of why we still hold hands when we walk together. It isn't all roses and rainbows but when I look at my love, I know I am complete.

Forgive my sentimentality, especially a day late but he's sleeping now after our Friday pizza night and a little bit of Mystery Science Theater. Even his snoring sounds good yo me these days- well except for when it gets too loud and I have to put a pillow over his face.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Make friends from Polymer Clay

My Polymer Clay FriendsMaking friends is easy when you have polymer clay. I have such a collection of figures and animals I've made in polymer clay. This is just a tiny selection. I can't fit them all in one shot.

I think my favorites are the silly, goofy ones, not always the cute ones. I don't think I'll ever get tired of making figures even when I experiment with different techniques and make some practical stuff, I still always get drawn to these little guys.

They're cute, often quick to make and all fun to do. Take a basic idea and then run with it. Most of them fit into a few basic shapes:

  • A hershey kiss with arms and legs, like the pixies

  • Simple ball will added pieces to make animals

  • A thick snake to start a dragon.

  • Lump to make critters


These shapes cover most of the simple pieces. From there add details, use different colors, some embellishment, beads or buttons and you have a the beginnings of something good. Starting with these basics, anyone can going really far. It's like being a kid, just playing and having fun.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Multi Colored Life

[caption id="attachment_752" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Cascades of Color"]
Susan's multi-colored scarves[/caption]



I love colors, brights, muted pastels, warm colors, cool colors, just about every color excites me. Some days I like wearing brights, others I like soft romantic colors.

I guess the one thing that turns me off is neutrals. I can deal with them as a back drop but I always need something to brighten it up. Summer is really my favorite season cause colors are so much a part of it. Everywhere just abounds in it and I add to it with my clothes.

I guess I really do stand working in the city, in fact mid town. If you don't know, this is one of the most conservation, business-like areas. So often I feel like a walking rainbow amongst all the blacks and greys. Even in the summer, they still dominate. At the very least I have on a bright scarf; usually it's mixed with even more colors.

It comes down to embracing it all the colors of the rainbow and polymer clay just feeds on that love.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Patterns in Polymer

Purple and green polymer clay beadsI love playing with new techniques and ideas with polymer clay, there are so many different even basic techniques to to try, it is taking me forever to get to them.

Often I'll see something I want to try: surfaces techniques, miniatures, colors and on and on. So often, I will buy a book with the best intentions but don't get to really making anything with it, never mind actually trying it.

This time it was different. I bought Patterns in Polymer by Julie Picarello. I can't help myself, I keep buying more and more books. While some books make me ooo and ahh over the pretty creations, too often like I said, I read them and put them aside

Patterns in Polymer just deals with what she calls imprints in polymer clay. It is more like a modified mokume game, which I haven't really done either, but the beauty and apparent ease of it made me have to tried. I haven't tried much but basic technique making the stacks of different colors of  clay, imprinting a design and then cutting slices off the top. Which seems pretty simple, except cutting an even slice, but Julie Picarello devotes an entire book to this. Just learning about her mix for Jecru  (ecru, translucent and pearl) that she uses to mix so many colors is worth the cost of the book. She gives a basic recipe for the colors she uses in the her projects.

The pieces I made up top were from my first attempt. I also used the slices with a Cabezels mold to make the cabochon and bezel on the right side. I want to keep doing this. It was like a palette cleanser, it was so easy and comfortable to try on a Friday night.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Witches are Here

[caption id="attachment_736" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Polymer Clay Green Baby Witch"]Polymer Clay Green Baby Witch by FantasyClay[/caption]

Already starting to think of Halloween, it really is my favorite holiday. I love being able to pretend and act silly. Making polymer clay items for Halloween really is fun. I love the possibilities of it all: spooky, scary, cute or funny. Oddly I love the mix of green, purple and orange - they clash and add a vibrancy that no other mix gives since they really clash with each other.

This little witch with her cauldron of bubbly green potion is not for sale, I made her for a friend but no fear, more will be coming.

 

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Down for the Count- Sprained Wrist

I am out of the game for a few days at least for polymer clay. Some lady cut me off getting off the subway Friday morning with one of those stupid rolling briefcases. I went flying, landed on my wrist and elbow. My elbow is sore but pretty muck ok by now.

My wrist is another story. And worse it is my left hand (I'm a lefty) so I feel totally out of it. The is a bruise at the base of my palm where I landed and my whole hand is basically out of commission. I finally can type a little with both hands but I can really only move the fingers. The whole side,going from just above my wrist to my pinkie are just not doing anything and any pressure just makes me yelp.

Nothing is broken and I am just bruised but I can't even think of claying. If I can't hold a fork or grab any thing or put pressure on it, sculpting is out of the question until I am feeling better. Worse part is my husband saying, you only have one more day to get better (I do have Monday off though) so I better hurry I up. Like I have a coice in the matter. Besides I worked all day Friday, just typing one handed and keeping an ice pack on the left hand.

Your hands are most important tool in polymer clay, being without one, and it being the dominant one, really is frustrating.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Polymer Clay Faces Wallhanging in Progress

[caption id="attachment_708" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Faces in Clay- work in progress"]Polymer Clay Faces work in progress[/caption]

I see the faces all around me, taking the subway and working in NYC really pushes all those faces up close. I know I made one of these face wall hangings last summer but I just had to do another. Even more so after I start condensing all my scrap clay. I now have a lot of muddy colors I had a good start.

Actually those "muddy" are mostly greys, green and purples, nothing really brown but it was a good start. I decided no to use the browns or ecru I have, just mix up my own earth colors. Actually it is kind of therapeutic to just mix browns. There is a big range of browns. I'm looking for more terracotta shades and earthy colors.

After I mixed up a few base shades (I'll definitely mixing more shades) to get going, I started by rolling out a sheet a clay and then settled in making faces. I am just making tribal styles faces, keeping them simple but trying to show the feelings. I guess I really am just basing it the people I see as ride the train- you get to see all sorts all around.

This is the beginning, now I need to build the rest of the crowd.

 

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Designing a Craft Space that Works

[caption id="attachment_686" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="My Work Space"]Fantasy Clay's Work Space[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_687" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Fantasy Clay's Work Space- closer up"]Fantasy Clay's Work Space[/caption]

Everyone needs  place to clay. Last summer I cleaned up a little as you can see here. It was a big step from the chaos that existed before. This time it sort of evolved from what I was using and piling up where I had my stuff. You might see I am in the same space as before, a small corner in what is our eating space, can't say it's a dining room.

However I bought a good desk with more space, actually a glass topped computer desk. It doesn't wobble and there is a nice shelf on the bottom and the keyboard holder actually is handy. I added some sturdy shelves and my rolling carting have become a mini wall (and a place to lay my hat).

I even said last year, I did not expect it to stay that orderly but even more annoying was after I "organized" everything, I could find anything. The space has morphed into a working space that I can maintain and have space to work.

My dream is still to have a room of my own but that is obviously not happening any time soon.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Making a New Start

[caption id="attachment_675" align="alignleft" width="195" caption="Orchid Wrap Wessel"]Flower Mini Vase[/caption]

This is my first official post on my WordPress blog. A new beginning and ready to get started. Ok I have to start all over getting followers and hoping that people will follow me to this blog.

It took a little more effort to set up a WordPress blog but I like the added control I have. The look is new, yes I know it is the same as the one as the other blog, but that was a recent change.

So here is an orchid, a purple flower for the spring on cool wrap vessel that I learned how to make personally from Christi Friesen. Making them feels special every time, that's why I included it in my first post.

So here's to new beginnings and creativity and enjoying life.

Friday, May 13, 2011

My First Attempt on Maggie Maggio split rings


I finally decided to try making Maggie Maggio's split rings using her YouTube video, Basically it is just a split ring made out of polymer clay. A bunch broke when I was trying to get them together because I made them too thin on the ends but all in the were easy to make with lots of possibilities. I just showed a few links and a short chain but I keep all the separate links in a bowl and mix and match how I will wear them that day.

I fussed over what kind of clasp would I use. Duh, these rings open and close to I just need to open a ring and use that as a clasp. The best part is I made bunches and bunches of them. One day I wore them as a long necklace, the next time as a short almost choker length.

I took some ideas from different clayers, one suggest using an extruder to make the starter snakes. Since I can roll an even snake, this was a life saver. Another friend mentioned how she made them more like real split rings and less spread out than Maggie's. I had better luck with them and they were easier to polish user my new power tool.









Maggie's latest take on split rings

Still Maggie has come up with another new twist on her split- now they are ruffly.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

New Toy - Table Polishing machine



This week I got my latest toy. I ordered a table polisher, I had wondered about them, having heard of them from polymer clays but not having much experience with power tools or the cost, I figured it wasn't worth exploring. Last week after a demo at the New Jersey Polymer Clay Guild about sanding and polishing, I got a chance to see one in action. I checked online for a price and I got one for 55 dollars(this includes shipping).

It took me a bit too get set up and realized that it needed to be clamped down at 2000-7000 rpms it bounced all over. But the difference is amazing. Hand buffing and even using the dremel don't compare.

I posted these faux rocks last year. I had sanded and hand buffed them. Still they looked drab and sort of disappointing. Just a couple seconds each at the table polisher changed them from unempressing lumps to finished beads. Can you guess which ones I used the polisher on? Do I even need to say?

This is one toy I am really glad I finally invested in.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Polymer With Personality


One of my favorite things I love about polymer clay is making these critters. Each one has a personality of its own. I've tried but I never can reproduce them. This one looks slighlty devilish and a little sneaky. I don't remember what I was trying for but this is what came out.

These critters are especially fun because unlike many of the other creatures I made, the face really makes the critter; the body is kind of formless so it's all on the personality.

I can play with colors, get silly and just make up friends. I don't list too many of these- they don't seem to sell but they are still some of my favorite things to make. It's more than doodling with clay, maybe fun sketching. They can be anything I want and they can be as silly, sad, mad as they want to be. Honestly I don't have any say on how they turn out.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

_Is your white clay too white?

I guess it's all the brides I've been doing but I've noticed nearly white I've tried, the white is just too opaque, which can be great for mixing with other colors but alone it can be overwhelming. I mean we all know white picks up everything and can become a mess but I've started to realize the opacity may be part of my problem, especially after I tried Cernit for Dolls, white. It has a much softer, semi translucent look to it but it's not really white enough and anyway I still had several pounds of Premo white that I wasn't going to just toss.

This may not be a new idea but I decided to try just mixing translucent to my white. Often a half and half mix, sometimes I vary it depending on how bright a white I need. Flowers get more translucent, black and white designs often do call for that pure white for contrast.

Like I said, plenty of people are probably already saying duh! but to me it was a cool discovery that added some softness and realism to my work

Saturday, April 16, 2011

More Cake Toppers










Wrestling Wedding Cake Topper

I finished another wrestling couple cake topper, with two more in the works. Who'd have thunk this would be so popular an item! Now that I've got a rhythm with these they are actually fun to make. I build the characters over ultralight Sculpy so they are light enough for the most delicate of cakes. I seem to be getting so many requests for these I added a link to my artfire shop to order a Wrestling Cake Topper . It is for the down payment so the bride doesn't have to pay the full price until she is satisfied with the finished item.

I customize each, this bride wanted an alabaster dress with some draping. Her cake had bright pink and black bows, so we decided to coordinate the topper.

I'd like to try some other characters or different styles so if you are looking for something special, just contact me in my artfire shop

Friday, March 18, 2011

Hopping in For Easter










Mini Pastel Easter Bunnies by FantasyClay

Sometimes I just like to make some simple easy things. Often the cuteness is too much too ignore. I made one bunny and they just screamed to made in a rainbow of colors. They remind me of the soft pastels of dyed Easter eggs. I just listed them in my shop - Mini Easter Bunnies.  Take a peek and see what you think

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Snowflake polymer clay demo

I had fun today at the New Jersey Polymer Clay Guild that I belong to. Even though it is already March I did a demo and ran the workshop on making these adorable polymer clay snowflakes. The actual tutorial was in Polymer Clay Cafe but I was the one doing the teaching. I had enlarged the template each time I made them, I love the ones people made using the original small template (about 1.5 inches across) I mostly made them about 2.5 inches across and I used them as Christmas ornaments on my tree.

I realized that by tweaking the template a bit and using pretty pastels, I could use this idea to make a garden full of flowers. Actually I have had enough of  real snowflakes at this point to last a life time