Thursday, December 8, 2016

Snap Decisions Collection at the Silhouette Fashion Boutique

Our trunk show at the Silhouette Fashion Boutique last Monday afternoon went really well.  It was a great opportunity to share a little bit about the polymer clay and how our pieces are created with some of the staff and their customers.  We have a nice portable set up for smaller pop-up shows like these and can surprisingly still show off most of the pieces from our Snap Decisions Collection.

The Silhouette Fashion Boutique is one of the nicest shops I've been to.  The clothing selection is really fabulous including all the top Canadian designs plus more!  There is something there for almost every body shape as well as a great selection in style and color.  If you aren't sure what you would look good in, the staff there are very helpful.

Owner, TJ (left) and worker, Hazel (right)

Silhouette Fashion Boutique, Salmon Arm

Window display at Silhouette Fashion Boutique

Silhouette Fashion Boutique, Salmon Arm
You can now find a selection of our Snap Decisions Collection at this wonderful store.  These make a great accessory to go with that new outfit or an excellent gift.  Here are a few samples of what you will find there:

Chain belts with 3 interchangeable snap bases in 2 different styles: 

Crystal accent belt with interchangeable snap bases

'Lace' interchangeable snap belt
Zipper Necklace:  This longer necklace has a pretty rhinestone framed snap base on an elegant stainless steel snake chain.  This necklace is easy wear as there is no clasp to fiddle with.  The snap base slides up and down the chain like a zipper and can be worn at any length. 

Zipper Lariat Necklace

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Trunk Show at Silhouette Fashion Boutique

Hey everyone in the Salmon Arm area!  Come on out next Monday, December 5th between 1-4 pm to the Silhouette Fashion Boutique.  (Located at 380 Alexander Street -- across from Askew's Foods downtown)

T.J., the owner, has invited us to introduce our Snap Decision jewelry to her line of clothes by Canadian designers, Frank Lyman, Joseph Ribkoff, Tribal and Pretty Women.

This new shop has been open for just over a month and has been very successful. 

We are excited about matching up a selection of our necklaces, bracelets, belts and earrings with their latest fall and winter fashions.

Zipper Lariat Necklace with Interchangeable Decorative Snap

Zipper Lariat Necklace with Interchangeable Poinsettia Snap

Zipper Lariat Necklace with Interchangeable Poinsettia Snap

Come on out and have some fun!   See you there!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Necklace with a Front Magnetic Closure and Snap Base

We have some really cool necklaces in our online store.  They are made with a thick genuine braided leather and have a front magnetic clasp.  There is a snap base on the front part of the clasp for creating interchangeable designs.  These necklaces were one of our best sellers at the Lake Country Art Walk last September and were popular with both men and women.

We have them available in our Snap DIY supplies section in black or white.  We also have the clasp only if you would like to make your own.

To make you own is quick and easy.  The advantage to this is you can use almost any cord that is 6mm thick and in any custom length.  You can also use several strands of thinner cord for a different look.   Here I am using some faux snakeskin cord that is super soft and drapes beautifully.

You can use either superglue (gel) or E6000.  Place a dab of glue on some scrap paper and apply it to one end of the cord with a toothpick.  Add the glue all around the cord up to 1/4" from the end as well as the very end tip.

Push the cord end firmly into the back part of the clasp.  Allow it to dry a bit before gluing the other end.

Lay the cord out flat so it curves naturally around in an open circle.

To prevent the cord from twisting, put the two claps pieces together before gluing and inserting the opposite end.

Larger snaps also work really well on these necklaces making them so versatile.

Friday, November 18, 2016

My Experiences and Tips on Working with Panpastels on Polymer Clay

A unique feature with polymer clay is how it can take on so many forms and textures.  Various types of color such as mica powders can then be applied to bring out the pattern and I love the metallic and rich deep jewel-tone shades they give.

The other day we were making up some of our posie flower snaps and wanted to make them in brighter colors.  We pulled out the Panpastels and decided to experiment and we immediately loved the results!

I was wondering what else we could create and tested them out even more so made some scarf rings.

I really like the vivid and rich shades that the panpastels produce and I call them my happy colors!  After working with them for a bit I realized that they are a little different to work with compared to the mica powders and thought I would share some of the tips I learned with you.

I first purchased several sets of the Panpastels from Shades of Clay (see disclaimer below) which came in this clear palette along with several sponge type applicators.

My latest set came in a stack that all unscrew.  The bottom container held several more applicators.  I quite like storing them this way as they take up less space.

The first thing I discovered about the Panpastels is how they create rich colors on white or light colored clay.  They do not show up much, however on black clay which is the opposite to the mica powders.

I tried using my finger and found that it worked okay but the applicators work even better as they prevent loose powders from falling onto your piece where you do not want them.

Some applicators for the Panpastels
I found some eye shadow applicators at the dollar store and found they work as well and the foam ends felt like the same type of material.  They work really well when applying the pastels to smaller areas.

Eye Shadow Applicators
I first learned of Panpastels from Helen Breil who shares a video on how to work with them and use the applicator.  I didn't have the same success at first and couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong so I did a little more research.  I have posted several other videos on my pinterest board if you would like to check them out.

One mistake I had made was loading too much pastel color on my foam applicator creating excess powder and resulting in it falling on my clay in areas I did not want.  I later learned that you load your applicator by lightly rubbing on the color by swiping back and forth only once or twice!

Clean applicator by wiping a few times on clean paper towel
Believe it or not, the applicator can be easily cleaned between colors by simply wiping it on a clean piece of paper towel.  Even if the applicator may appear to have a lot of color on it, you can load it in another color and it will not cross contaminate!  I could hardly believe it until I actually tested it out myself.  Just do not rub too hard or it will actually wear the foam part out.  You only need to swipe lightly a couple of times and you are good to go!

One other thing I really like about the Panpastels is unlike mica powders, the colors can mix and blend on the clay.  They work in the same way as if you were working with actual paint but in a creamy powder like form.

Here I am using an eye shadow applicator to apply some white Panpastels to a textured snowflake snap.  I used the Sculpey Soufle clay for these and even with the clay being so soft, the applicators are gentle enough to not mess up the texture.  

Adding white Panpastel color to textured Sculpey Soufle clay
Another tip when working with any type of powder, is if you are adding any (hot fix) crystals, be sure to add them first.  Any powder between the clay and crystal could interfere and prevent the glue from adhering to the clay.

Adding crystals to the clay before applying any powders

Check out my blog posts here and here for more tips on adding crystals to your clay designs.

My main concern with working with Panpastels was sealing them properly.  The first few pieces I made, I sprayed several times with the PYM11 (Preserve Your Memories 11).  I wasn't sure if that would be enough to seal them and it didn't matter to me if they were matte or glossy so I tried adding several types of glazes over top but found they all beaded up.  I decided to test the PYM11 out a little more and had noticed that the color was wearing off which obviously was not good.

Helen Breil recommends a glaze for the Panpastels -- Golden Polymer Varnish with UVLS.  I am happy to say that Shades of Clay now has it in stock as well.  It does work really well and is very easy to apply.  It is quite thick and they recommend thinning with water.  I do this by pouring a small amount into a little bowl and then spritz it a bit with my water spray bottle.  I add just enough water so it spreads easily but isn't too runny.

The Golden Polymer Varnish is also available in Gloss which can give almost a ceramic-like appearance.

I prefer the matte finish on certain items such as flowers and the snowflake designs.

Snowflake snaps and bracelet

Snowflake snaps in a necklace and earrings

I hope these tips will help you in working with the Panpastels and you have positive results.  If you have any questions or more tips to share, please feel free to comment.

Disclaimer:  (We are not benefiting from the mention or links to Shades of Clay.  We are only a regular and happy customer.)

Friday, November 11, 2016

My Tutorial at the PCA Retreat 2016 Goes Live Today!

I can hardly believe how time has been flying by.  It was a whole year ago when I first announced teaching in the Polymer Clay Adventure Retreat and my video tutorial will finally be going live today.

If you already signed up, I hope you drop in and I will be available to answer any questions.  I am also looking forward to seeing your finished projects as well.

We have some supplies and kits listed in our online store to create the Kite Necklace and Earrings.  You will find them listed on our polymer and jewelry supplies page here.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Poinsettia Snaps for the Holidays

We only have a few days left to finish off some new items for the Craft-a-Fair this coming Sunday at the Sandman Center in Kamloops.  We created some new poinsettia designs in a snap for interchanging in the various jewelry pieces.  They are also now available in the Decorative Snaps Section of our online store.

To see more of our designs and accessories in our online store, we have included 2 other fun ways to help with your search:

Shop by Color:

and Shop by Collection: