Saturday, April 30, 2011

Artists at Work Show in Chase

We had a fun day today at our local Artists at Work show here in our town of Chase where we all did live demonstrations of our talents.

Here Diane Jansson is hard at work at her sewing machine.  She creates beautiful quilted pieces and is world renowned for her work and teaching skills.

Norm Brielsman is a wood carver and his birds are so lifelike.  We gave him a hard time about his space being the messiest and gave him the tiled floor space to work!

This is Jan Seedhouse with me.  She weaves gorgeous shawls and scarves on her loom and I finally broke down and bought the shawl type poncho I am wearing.  I so love the colors in it and now I have to make a jewelry set to match!

And of course here is my work area -- I'm not there since I took the photo!  ha!

I did manage to get a bit of work done in between all the visiting and talking.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Fabulous Faux Turquoise Tutorial

My tutorial, Fabulous Faux Turquoise, is finally finished and available in our Art Fire studio as well as our Etsy Shop.

In this lesson I share with you exactly how I create my faux turquoise, including my own color mix recipe using either Kato or Premo clay.  Afterwards, you will learn several ways to use your turquoise mix to make your own beads and other jewelry components that will look like highly polished gems that will last forever.

Silver combines beautifully with turquoise and as a bonus, I have included several ways to combine your turquoise with metal frames or bezels.  You can use your own handcrafted frames made from wire or metal clay or ones purchased from a craft supply store.  The ones shown in the lesson are available in our ArtFire Studio.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Basic Instructions

I was hoping to have my new tutorials available today but I still have some finishing details yet.

In the meantime I decided to post some basic instructions on conditioning clay and finishing off your pieces here on the blog so I will not have to repeat myself every time I write a new tutorial.  This also means the tutorials will take up less disc space on your computers and less pages you will need to print out.

You will find these at the top of this blog under Polymer Clay Tips.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Kato Clay Color Recipes only Available

For those who are interested, I have made my Favorite Kato Clay Color Recipes Only (more than 50) available both in our Etsy Shop and our online store.  These are the same recipes and base mixes that are included in my Clay Color System but on sheets to print out on regular cardstock or on business card forms, whatever your preference.

NOTE:  If you have already purchased my Clay Color System, you already have these recipes plus a whole lot more.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

More new tutorials available soon

I have two more tutorials that I am finishing up right now and should be ready soon.  Here is a sneak peek of what is to come:



There seems to be a lot more polymer clay lessons available today but knowledge is a good thing and anything we can share and learn from each other helps to spark our creativity as well as  improve our work in some way.  More people are exploring the wonders of polymer clay and we are just at that leading edge of some more really great discoveries down the road.

In case you've wondered if my lessons are worth the cost, I thought I would share a recent comment I received (shameless self-promotion) that really made my day. 

"Carolyn, I could easily write a paragraph on what I think of your tutorials. From the quality of your photos, wonderful instructions, all the extra suggestions and color breakdowns, the fact that you don't waste our ink with background colors, the easy to read typeface, and not to forget the fact that you have kept the cost down. To sum it up Wonderful Techniques and Quality Quality Quality!!!"

And here is another one:

"You do such a wonderful job of simplifying each process and attaching a succinct explanation to a photo that is almost self-explanatory!  Marvelous work!

It is very rewarding when we receive so many wonderful comments from those who have purchased our tutorials.

And another note in case you are wondering, I provide both the imperial and metric measures, whenever possible, so they are user friendly, no matter what type you are familiar with.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Tool Time Tips

I thought I would share with you some of my favorite "tools" and supplies I like to use.

This tool is actually three in one and my absolute favorite.  I covered a little jar with clay and it sits on my clay table to hold my bead piercing tools.  I covered the end of one of my bead tools so it is easy to find and grab when needed.   The cool thing about this little jar is ......

Ta da! ....    There is a magnet encased at the bottom that works as a tissue blade picker-upper tool!  I saw this idea somewhere a few years back (can't remember where) but I thought it was so cool I had to make one for myself and now it is my favorite piece and cannot part with it.

And the bead piercing tools ....  are turkey or poultry lacers.  I found these last ones at a dollar store.  If you are looking for any, make sure they are ones that are nice and sharp for piercing your beads.

I also like to use these for when I bake my beads which brings me to another tool I use quite a bit is my bead rack.  I made this one from cardboard and have used it hundreds of times for several years now and is still holding up.  Maybe some day I will show you how to make one.

And lastly, is a glue called Jewel-It that I found works great with polymer clay.   I mainly use it to glue my clay color chips to the cards as other glues wouldn't seem to last or hold very long and my chips would keep falling off.   I've even baked with it as well and it seemed to hold pretty good still afterwards but I need to do a little more testing yet.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Spaced Out on Rondelles

I finished another tutorial which I started some time ago.  You might recognize the rondelle beads from a post I did on the blog here several years ago where I shared my original idea.  I found it to be too tedious and time consuming after a while and since learned how to streamline my production by tweaking a few things and eliminating several steps and I can now make them in half the time. (Click on the photo below to go to it.)

In this tutorial I will show you how to make special templates from clay to use in making your own rondelles so each bead is consistent in shape and size.  You can also make them in any color you want to match or coordinate with your other beads for that perfect jewelry design.

I have also included in this lesson how to make the cube shaped beads like the ones shown here in our Bargello Bead Necklaces.

As well as how to add the rich pearl and metallic colors with mica powders.

These can be made in the same matching colors to coordinate with the beads I show how to make in My Textured Tubes & More and Double-sided Textured Beads tutorials.

This lesson is very simple to follow with detailed instructions so even a clay beginner can follow them.  You do not need to invest in any fancy equipment or tools for this lesson as I have provided instructions for making your beads with or without a pasta machine and using objects that are easily available. 

Friday, April 15, 2011

Sculpted Flower Buttons

I'm working on expanding our line of buttons for the summer and these are some new sculpted flower ones I made while working on my latest tutorial, Sculpted Flowers.  One pair has embedded metal shanks and another with holes.  My tutorial, Making Perfect Buttons teaches how you can make your own metal shanks and embed them without the need for any glue as well as included templates for making perfect holes every time.

These ones I made by rolling out smooth and flat for fun. -- Imagine one of these large (2") buttons on a summer handbag or sweater.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Sculpted Flowers Tutorial is Now Available

My new tutorial, Sculpted Flowers, is now finished and available in our Art Fire Studio.

Included in this tutorial are instructions on how to make three different types of flower petals and two types of flower centers with several variations.  I also show you how to turn your flowers into jewelry pieces like beads, a pendant, earrings and a brooch pin.  I've also included my Kato polyclay color recipes to make all the pieces in this lesson.



These flowers can also be used to embellish items like switch plate covers, picture frames, boxes and even drawer pulls.

We are offering an introductory special for one month only when you purchase both our new Sculpted Flowers tutorial together with our Switch Plate Cover Ups tutorial for a combined price of $10.  Click here or on the photo below to see the combined listing special.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

More New Tutorials Coming Soon...

This month I have set aside for working on and finishing off some more tutorials.  Here is a sneak peek to the one that will be available very very soon...


Monday, April 11, 2011

Our New Signage

We finally took the plunge and had a professionally finished sign made up for our shows. We met Cyndee from Socktales at the Cowboy Festival who had some beautiful posters made up of her cute sock monkeys, Holly and Henry.   The printing of her posters were so professional we wanted to know where she had them done and on her recommendation we went to visit John at Spatial Resource Services.

He made up this banner for us on some heavy duty vinyl which should last for a long, long time.  We are so happy with the professional quality of the photo and the banner and we highly recommend him to anyone in the Kamloops area.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Buttons Now Available at Heather's Fabric Shelf

Now that my Switch Plate Cover Ups tutorial is finished, I'm back to making more buttons since I'm out of stock at the moment and need to catch up on some more orders.

I'm also happy to announce that our buttons are now available at Heather's Fabric Shelf in Kamloops, B.C.  My chin nearly hit the floor when I walked into Heather's shop.  It was like walking into a fabric candy store!  Sewing was my first muse and I still love to sew.  It is difficult for me to walk into a fabric store like hers and not leave without a piece of fabric in some rich color or pattern.  My dream is to combine my sewing more with my work in polymer clay.

Heather's Fabric Shelf is also holding their 3rd annual Quilt Show and Tell this Sunday (April 10) which should be a fun event to attend.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Tutorial - Switch Plate Cover Ups

I'm excited to tell you that I have finished my latest tutorial which is now available in our ArtFire Studio,  We've had several requests from our blog followers to offer this new  tutorial called Switch Plate Cover Ups!

We have been making switch plate covers with polymer clay for some time now and find it is a fun way to add art and character to your walls.  In this lesson, you will learn how to create different textured and embossed styles with added embellishments.  I will also share some of my tips and tricks on how to achieve a more professional finish.

This lesson consists of 26 pages broken down into 64 steps with more than 68 photos for easy and clear instruction.  Step-by-step instructions are included on how to create an ocean themed switch plate cover using layered textures, moulded embellishments and mica powders.

Monday, April 4, 2011

The New Dynamic Views are now Active

Remember the templates I was talking about earlier?  Well they are now active and much better than I thought.  Our blogs do not change, but there are different options for viewing.

I have now activated it on our blog and you can tell by the little orange Blogger symbol in the top address bar to the right.

If you click on that Blogger symbol, a menu drops down and the reader can choose whatever viewer they would prefer.

This makes blog reading a whole new fun experience to me!  I really like the snapshot view on both of our other blogs:  Jewelry for the Home  and  Wearable Art Gallery as you can see more photos at once just like a magazine.

If you have a blog with blogger, I would recommend adding this feature to your blog and you just might get more visitors and followers.  You can read more about it here.  To activate it for your own blog, just go here and click on the install button and google automatically loads it in seconds.  Your original blog will not change -- it just adds the new extra optional feature.