Friday, September 28, 2012

Photo Backgrounds - Black vs. White

I'm always looking for ways to improve the quality of my photographs and recently purchased some acrylic stands as backgrounds, one in black and the other in white.  I really like the white background as the colors really pop and works beautifully in our lightbox so there are no shadows.

The black stand, however, is a whole different situation.  I have to adjust the compensation settings on my camera which is not a problem, however I found the black is like a magnet for any lint or dust and shows the slightest fingerprint or smudge.

The other problem I am having with the black background is the reflection.  While a subtle or soft reflection can be quite nice, this is anything else but.  You can see in the photograph the inside "ceiling" of the lightbox.  I will have to figure out how to work around this problem.  Any suggestions?????

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Silk Scarf Jewelry

I've been working on a new batch of scarf jewelry designs.  These ones are more suitable to hanging on a lighter organza or silk scarf.  I am really happy with these ones and the jewel tone colors go beautifully with the silk scarves that my friend Rosemarie dyes by hand.

I wish we lived closer to our niece as she makes such a gorgeous model for our jewelry.  It is always so much nicer to see a piece worn on an actual live person instead of a mannequin.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Leopard Print Beads Made to Order

I always like to see what people create with the beads we make and sell.  We sometimes get requests for our beads in a different color or size which we don't mind doing.  One request we received was to make our  leopard print tube beads in a shorter length.  I was curious to see the design they were going to create with these beads and was so pleasantly surprised when she sent us some photos of the finished earrings.

The tiger's eye beads go so nicely with the leopard print tubes in these awesome hoop style earrings!  Jackie creates beautiful jewelry pieces and you can find more of her creations in her Etsy Shop.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Fun Times

We are taking some time off away from the studio and headed south to Spokane Washington to pick up some badly needed supplies and spend time with family.  I had to bring some of our new scarf jewelry for our niece to try out and model for us.

My niece and I are off to spend the day shopping and treat ourselves to a pedicure.  Couldn't think of a better way to celebrate my birthday!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Tip for Organizing Your Mica Powder Samples

I love working with various textures and then tinting them with mica powders.  The results are these deep rich jewel tone colors that shimmer with a pearlescent or metallic effect.

A few of the stores that sell our buttons, beads and shawl pins, like to place special orders for their customers in customized colors.  To make it easier for matching up with their yarn or fabric, we made these color samples for them.  These are so handy that we made a set for ourselves and is a quick and easy method for figuring out what color we want to use or match up with various beads and findings in creating our jewelry.

The * (see below) means I have Swarovski crystals to match.

Friday, September 14, 2012

More Clay and Goodies

Our clay supply has been dwindling and I was holding off ordering more until the weather has cooled somewhat.  Even though the evenings have been cooler the days can still get fairly warm and I didn't want our clay to partially cure while in transit.

I am a happy camper now that the our many blocks of clay have arrived along with a few goodies like the new seamless cutters in the teardrop shape, gilder's paste and one of Helen Breil's new texture sheets.

I wanted to try out the new texture sheet and happened to have some Honey Gold and French Roast clay on my table so made a few new buttons using a mokume gane technique.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Pantone 2012 Color Honey Gold and Hooked on Polyvore

The last Pantone fall 2012 fashion clay color recipe I have to share with you is Honey Gold.  This rich golden yellow is a slightly muted version of a previous Pantone color called Golden Glow which I have used as my base color.

Honey Gold
4 parts Golden Glow (see recipe # 6-6) *
1 part Ecru Mix (see recipe # 2-8) *

* These base mix recipes are found in my Clay Color System tutorial.

I don't have any clay pieces to show you yet as I have been busy working on filling bead and button orders.  I do have this collage I created on Polyvore some time ago, however, combining the Honey Gold with French Roast. I came across various Polyvore collages on Pinterest so decided to check it out for myself the other day and once I started playing around I was hooked!  It was rather fun and but also addicting and reminded me of my early years playing with paper dolls.  It is a fun way to combine various colors and textures.  You will find more collages and Pantone color inspirations on my Pinterest board.

And here is a summary of all the clay recipes for the

Click on the color names below
to go to the posts with those recipes:

Honey Gold
(see above in this post)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

New Color Recipe Cards and Pantone Fall 2012 Colors Rhapsody and Titanium

I want to announce that my new clay color recipe cards are now ready for printing out onto 4" x 6" index cards.  This makes printing them out much easier and more convenient instead of having to cut them out of the heavy cardstock type paper.  The cards are in black print only so they take very little ink.  They are now included with my Clay Color System as a second and much easier printing option.

If you have already purchased my Clay Color System and would like the new recipe card format, e-mail me direct (2goodclaymates at with a reference as to where you purchased my tutorial (Ex: Etsy or ArtFire) and an invoice # or date of purchase and I will e-mail you back with the new card system and printing instructions.  If you purchased the tutorial through Etsy, you can e-mail me or send an Etsy convo (the link is on your purchase invoice).

So here are two more Pantone Fall 2012 clay color recipes for you:  You will notice that the Titanium is basically a grey and the Kato Silver is a pretty close match to this.


2 parts Kato Violet
1 part Ecru Mix (recipe # 2-8) *
1 part White Mix (recipe # 1-2) *

1 part Kato Silver

* (base mix recipes found in my Clay Color System)

I haven't had time to play around with these colors in a combination yet so will have something for you a little later.  In the meantime, have fun mixing up some of these new colors!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Pantone Color Recipe French Roast and Rose Smoke

I have two more Pantone Fall 2012 clay color recipes to share with you this time:

French Roast
6 parts Kato Brown
1 part Kato Black

Rose Smoke
5 parts Ecru Mix (recipe # 2-7) *
1/4 part Kato Magenta
3 parts Kato Brown
8 parts White Mix (recipe # 1-2) *

* (base mix recipes found in my Clay Color System)

Here are some beads I made using my "Mini Mokume" technique combining the colors French Roast, Rose Smoke and Pink Flambe.

Just a tip about mixing your clay colors.  I like to use large cutters to mix up larger clay color batches and find using a square shape is easier for more accurate measuring when you need to measure out 1/4 or 1/2 parts by cutting from corner to corner.

I hope you are finding these clay color recipes useful so far.  Have you mixed any of these new colors up yet  and if so, what are your favorite combinations?

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Pantone Color Recipes Pink Flambe and Ultramarine Green

I'm going to share two more Pantone Fall 2012 clay color recipes again with you today -- Pink Flambe and Ultramarine Green.


Pink Flambe
5 x Kato Magenta
1 x Kato Orange
1 x Kato Pearl
1 x Kato White

Ultramarine Green
6 x Kato Green
1 x Kato Blue
1 x Kato Pearl

You will find that when you mix up your clay colors they might appear slightly different from the samples shown above or other images on your computer.  This is because every computer screen can show colors quite differently.  When I mix up my clay colors I use the actual Pantone color chips to match and get a more accurate hue.

Here are a few pieces I was experimenting with combining the above two colors along with Bright Chartreuse and Tangerine Tango.

Some mokume gane:  (I haven't decided how I will use this clay sheet yet)

Pantone Fall 2012 Color Recipes - Bright Chartreuse and Olympian Blue

Fall is right around the corner so it is time I finally share some of the new Pantone Fall 2012 clay color recipes with you.  If you are new to following our blog, I have written a color tutorial, Carolyn's Clay Color System, for those who would like to learn more about mixing and combining colors.  I have included more than 50 color recipes using Kato polyclay to get you started.  Some of those recipes are what I call my "base mixes" that I use to create more colors from.

It is exciting to mix up and create new colors but I sometimes tend to fall into a trap of using my favorite ones over and over.  One of the reasons I like to follow the Pantone Fashion report is that I am always up to date in my latest jewelry designs and it also inspires me to create new colors combined in different ways.  If you would like to check out my color recipes from the spring of this year you can find all of them here.

Tangerine Tango is included as one of the fall colors as it was established as the color of the year.  You will find the recipe for this color using Kato clay in a previous blog post here.  I have included two variations of this shade, one of which has more pearl and works well in a mica shift technique.

Since I am a little behind in my posting I decided to share two color recipes with you today:


Bright Chartreuse
20 x Kato yellow
1 x Kato green
1/2 x Kato gold

Olympian Blue
8 x Kato Ultra Blue
1/2 x Kato Black

And here are some beads I made using my "Mini Mokume" technique in this color combination with the white base mix (recipe # 1-2).  (Note:  Both the mini mokume technique and white base mix color recipe are found in my clay color system tutorial)

*** Also one more note regarding my Clay Color System.  I have been working madly to recreate my color recipes so you can easily print them out directly onto 4" x 6" index cards.  I should have them ready in the next day or so and will sell them separately from my clay color system.  If anyone has already purchased my Clay Color System tutorial in the past and would like these recipes to print out in this format, please e-mail me direct with the information as to where you purchased my tutorial from (an invoice # or approximate date would be helpful) and I will send them to you at no charge.