Friday, December 31, 2010

Out with the Old and In with the New

Year that is...

Dave and I have been reflecting on our work from the past year and decided to head off in a slightly different direction this year with some brand new looks and different styles.

We have some new things planned for 2011 like a fun contest with a cool give-a-way prize.  More Pantone color recipes and jewelry making techniques to share.  New tutorials coming with fresh ideas.

Thanks to all of our readers and followers for your support and nice comments.  Wishing you all health and happiness for the new year....

...  Dave and Carolyn Good

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Switch Plate Covers - Custom Made to Order

Our home decor line has been expanding with new designs added regularly.  All of our switch plate covers are made to order so you can choose your color and design for any type of plate.  Our most popular design is the Brocade which is available in a wide range of colors.

A customer sent us a photograph of a Brocade switch plate in the light copper we did up special for her bathroom.  She told me I could share it with you.  It goes so well with the rest of her decor don't you think?

I will show you some of our latest designs with a country western theme soon ... 

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

More feather designs...

I'm still having fun experimenting with making feather canes and made these buttons from the Honeysuckle pink design I showed you yesterday.

And here are some new pieces and cane in a denim blue and gold.  I really like how this one turned out as well.

I will show you what I'm making with all these pieces as soon as they are all finished....

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Feather Fun

I've been experimenting with some new techniques and had some fun trying out Dona Kato's feather cane. I had some Honeysuckle colored clay still sitting on my worktable from the other day so decided to go with it.  I like the color combination and discovered the cane ends made a pretty lentil swirl as well.

I have some more new pieces in the oven and will show them to you tomorrow...

Friday, December 24, 2010

Tutorial - How to Make Polymer Clay Disk Earrings

I thought I would share this tutorial as our Christmas gift to all of our polymer clay followers.  We've been creating these fun disc style earrings in different styles and in custom Pantone colors for several years and are a lot of fun to make.  I've mixed up the top ten Pantone Spring 2011 colors including Honeysuckle which has been declared as Pantone's color of the year.  These earrings are created in this vibrant color but of course can be done in any other color or pattern of your choice.

I used Kato clay to create the honeysuckle color.  Measure out your clay by rolling each color out to the same thickness and using the same shaped cutter, cut out the number of pieces that are in the recipe.

You will need:  10 parts magenta, 1 part orange and 3 parts pearl

Mix your clay thoroughly and roll your clay sheet out on the 2nd thickest setting of your pasta machine (# 2 on an Atlas).  Create a pattern in your clay with a stamp or texture sheet.  Cut out two pieces by first laying plastic wrap down and using a 3 cm circle cutter.  The plastic wrap creates a nice bevelled edge.


To make the curved form I use the metal pieces from buttons you cover that are found in any sewing notions department.  For the disc earrings I'm using the 1-1/8" (28 mm) diameter size.

Centre each clay piece over a button form.  Gently pat down and smooth the edges.

You can highlight the raised areas of your piece with mica powders or leave them as is.  I'm using Pearlex in Flamingo Pink on these ones which will give a little more shimmer.

Bake your pieces right on the button forms for 20 minutes at the temperature recommended on your clay package.

After the pieces have cooled, pop them off the forms.  On the reverse side, spread a very thin layer of liquid clay (Kato, Fimo or Sculpey) of your choice.  This will help bond the unbaked to the baked clay pieces.

Take 2 eye pins, or make your own from wire and kink or bend the wire pieces with your pliers.  These bends will prevent the eye pins from pulling out after they are baked and won't require any glue after.

Roll more honeysuckle clay out on the 3rd thickest setting (#3 on Atlas) of your pasta machine and cut out 2 circles in the same size as your textured discs.

Make a mark on the back of your clay disc where you want the top to be and position your eye pin on the back at that spot.

Place your cut clay circle over top of the eye pin, lining up the two pieces at the top.

The clay circle will be slightly larger than the front baked piece so trim the edge with your clay blade or an exacto knife.

Smooth all of the edges with your thumb blending the raw clay into the baked front piece.

Texture the back and side edges with a piece of cloth or sandpaper.  This will help to camouflage any marks or fingerprints.  It will also embed the wire into the clay without it showing through.  One of my favorite textures for this are the mesh type bags that onions or other produce come in.

Bake your pieces again for 20-30 minutes at the temperature recommended on your clay package.

Apply several thin coats of your favorite glaze.  Click on the photo below to read more about glazing.

Hang your discs from your favorite ear wires or for longer earrings and a little more bling, add an extra bead between.

Enjoy and Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Pantone Spring 2011 Colors

With our Christmas shows now over, we have been catching up on our own Christmas here at home.  Between all the baking and other preparations my husband (claymate), Dave, went through another surgery last week.  We are happy to say that things went very well and he is recovering nicely.  Thanks to all for your prayers and well wishes.

I'm getting back into the swing of things with lots of new and fun ideas in store.  I find mixing colors is a great springboard for inspiration and just finished mixing up the new Pantone Spring 2011 colors.

This new color collection is called "An Exotic Journey" citing exotic destinations like Africa, India, Peru and Turkey as it's inspiration and a way to escape everyday challenges with intriguing color combinations that transport one to foreign lands.  Honeysuckle is one of the most vibrant colors in the this collection and has been declared as the color of the year and I'm already seeing it popping up just about everywhere.

I have a special Christmas gift to all our clayers who follow us, that I will share with you soon.  I will give you a hint.  It involves the color Honeysuckle....  Look for it on this Christmas eve....

And for everyone, we have some great give-a-ways coming up in the new year....

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Can't Decide?

Gift certificates are now available in our Etsy shop and Artfire studio.  They are presented in one of our tin gift boxes that have an embossed clay design of your choice.  They can be shipped to the purchaser or sent direct to the gift receiver.

This makes a perfect gift for someone who will enjoy picking out their own present.  It can be a piece of jewelry, buttons for someone who loves to sew or knit, or even beads for a jewelry designer.  The gift certificate can also be used towards any home decor item like our custom made-to-order switch plate covers.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

More New Buttons

I finished up some more buttons in a variety of colors.  These were all done using the Conga Line texture sheet by Helen Breil.  These should be listed in our Art Fire studio and Etsy shop within the next few days.

Here is a sweater that I replaced the original buttons with some new textured ones.  Now people compliment me on the sweater which they didn't before.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Our last show for the year

We finally finished our last Christmas show for the year which was right here in our home town of Chase.  We had a great time seeing old friends and neighbors as well as making new acquaintances.  There was an excellent turn-out this year over flowing with both vendors and shoppers.

We were too busy to take any photos of our display this time but managed to sneak in a picture of Dave with two special guests that attended.

Here is a photo of some of our set-up at the last show when we were at the Kamloops Courthouse.  We were in the centre of the room so we managed to use the outside as well which worked very well for us.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Christmas at the Courthouse

We had a fun time selling at the old courthouse cultural centre in downtown Kamloops last weekend.  I took lots of photos to capture the history around us.

This is one of the several staircases leading up to the second floor where the artist vendors were located.

We were in the centre of the room and enjoyed the sunshine coming through these gorgeous stained glass windows.

And the fabulous woodwork everywhere -- on the walls and ceilings.  The beautiful Christmas decorations added a nice touch.

We were entertained from the judge's bench with live festive Christmas music.

We have a few days to catch our breath and up on some orders before our last show this weekend which will be right here in our own town of Chase.