Monday, August 18, 2014

Interchangeable Scarf Jewelry Pieces

I love things to wear that are multi-functional and interchangeable.  An item that can be used in more than one way is a great wardrobe extender as well as a budget saver.  Obviously others feel the same as me as our earring sales increased a fair bit when we switched over to the interchangeable system with several ear wire styles to choose from.

So now we have come up with a new twist on our scarf jewelry pieces ... we now have a new "interchangeable" series.  The scarf necklace consists of a scarf bail, a pendant charm and a set of cascading beads so they can be easily switched out.  As another alternative, the beads or the charm can also clip on to a chain or cord to wear as a regular necklace without the scarf.

In my tutorial, Constructing Accent Pieces for your Scarves, Sweaters & Shawls, I show how to create a scarf bail from polymer clay as well as to create the bead dangles several different ways.

Here is some feedback we have received so far on this latest tutorial:

"Great thorough tutorial. Very easy to follow."

"Good clear written instructions accompanied by great photos, leaves no lingering question to be answered.  The inclusion of extra information and tips at the end are an added bonus."

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Vintage Style Jewel-tone Flowers

We have been making lots of "Vintage Flowers" in a variety of jewel-tone colors.  We create the flowers and bake them so they are ready to be used when needed.

The "vintage-like" centres are not metal but polymer clay.  They were created from a mould we made from a vintage button.  A Swarovski crystal is embedded into the centre and they are then accented with mica powders and baked.  We will generally make up a whole batch in different colors at a time so they are ready to use.

We like to use our vintage style flowers in various ways:

Shawl/Hair Sticks:

Brooch Stick Shawl Pins:

Scarf Charms:

  And Jewelry:

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Button Production

We are in high production mode these days and taking advantage of the extra time this summer to get ahead in our fall store orders.

These "Starburst" buttons will be finished off with wire shanks for sewing on the back.  We like to use the bottoms of soda cans as a baking form which is what these are on here.  We have quite a few forms so we can bake large amounts at a time.  The texture we used to create the buttons was called "Fandango" by Helen Breil.

Starburst button fronts ready for baking
Starburst button fronts ready to add the wire shank for sewing

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Polymer Clay Recipes for the Pantone Fall 2014 Fashion Colors

Here is the summary for all the polymer clay recipes for the Pantone Fall 2014 Fashion Colors.

Click on each of the photos below to see the clay recipes using Kato clay.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Pantone Fall 2014 Fashion Colors Mauve Mist, Aluminum and Cognac

I missed posting yesterday as we had to go out of town for a bit so I decide to wrap things up and combine the last three of the top ten Pantone Fall 2014 Fashion Color polymer clay recipes here.

There has been a bit of discussion and a few comments from polymer clayers who feel they do not like the Pantone colors for this fall.  Some feel they are too bright where others feel some of the colors are not appropriate for the fall season.  There might be a few colors I am not crazy about either but it all comes down to personal taste and let's face it, if we weren't all different, we would all like the same food, the same color and so on.

While most of these Pantone colors are not the traditional autumn shades (orange, brown, gold),  not everyone can wear these colors.  We all have different skin color tones and so therefore not everyone is going to look their best in brown where others it would be an excellent choice.  For myself, I have been told that lime green is "my color" and it brings out the green in my eyes.  Purple on the other hand makes my complexion look very drained and pale and I can look sickly.  I can wear purple, however, if there is enough lime green to offset it.

There is a system available called "color draping".  Colors are put into various categories (Summer, Autumn, Winter and Spring) and a professional will test your skin tone to see what best suits you.

Another thing to consider is if you are creating jewelry or accessory pieces for yourself to wear or are you selling them to other people?  If you are making items for others to wear you need to think of your customer base and their color preferences and not just your own.  I hardly wear anything in purple but it is in big demand by our customers and so we always make sure we have a selection of items available in this color.

Some of the Pantone Fashion colors are not intended to "stand alone" but are considered more neutral (Aluminum for instance) and meant to be used more as an accent or "filler".  That is how I would use all of these last three colors and will show some examples of this a little later on.  In the meantime, here are the color recipes using Kato clay:

 Clay recipe for
Mauve Mist
(a soft and elegant light shade of purple)

1 part "Plum" #10-5*
4 parts Mix#1-2*

Clay recipe for
This is a pretty close match to the
color recipe for "Dove Grey" #1-14*

Clay recipe for
(a rich autumn brown with a gold tone)

Follow the same recipe
for the color "Russet" #3-4*
but reduce the amount of copper to only 1 part.

* For these base color recipes using Kato clay, see my "Clay Color System" tutorial

To see some of these fall colors in action, you can follow my Pinterest boards.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Pantone Fall 2014 Fashion Colors Bright Cobalt and Royal Blue

The Pantone Fall 2014 fashion colors are a little unusual this year as they not only consist of two types of reds but also two shades of blues -- Bright Cobalt and Royal Blue.

Bright Cobalt is a close match to the Kato Blue but lightened up slightly.  Rather than just adding white or pearl, I like to add a bit of my White Mix (See recipe #1-2 in my Clay Color System tutorial)

Clay recipe for
Bright Cobalt

10 parts of Kato Blue
1 part of Mix #1-2*


Clay recipe for
Royal Blue

Same as the "Royal Blue" Recipe #9-4*

Another variation for the Royal Blue:
Substitute 1/2 part Mix #1-2*
for the 1 part Kato Pearl

* See "Carolyn's Clay Color System" tutorial for these base mix recipes.

I have been asked many times if I could do the Pantone color recipes or remake my Clay Color System using Premo clay.  I had thought about this but with the two primary colors (Zinc Yellow and Cobalt Blue) that Premo decided to discontinue makes it very difficult, if not impossible, to mix up the same true colors.

A good example of this is comparing Cobalt Blue with Royal Blue.  Kato uses the true primary colors which work best for color mixing and combining.  The Kato blue is like Cobalt blue -- the same shade of blue that Premo discontinued.  To obtain a royal blue, you need to add a touch of red (or violet which is half red and half blue).  You can mix up a royal blue from Cobalt blue but you cannot make Cobalt Blue from Royal Blue as the Cobalt is "pure" where the Royal is a "mix".  Does this make any sense?  Your thoughts on this subject would be greatly appreciated.

Just a note, I understand that Fimo has created a new line of Classic clay in the true colors.  This is great as finally other polymer manufacturers are finally figuring out what is important to an artist and that is to be able to mix and create color.  I am not planning on formulating the Pantone or my Color System using this clay in the (near) future as I am not a big fan of this type of clay.  I am quite happy working with the Kato product as I am very familiar and comfortable with using it.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Pantone Fall 2014 Fashion Color Misted Yellow

The Pantone fall 2014 fashion color, Misted Yellow may seem to be an unusual color for fall but it is definitely a lovely shade for autumn.  When I first discovered the Pantone Fashion colors (years ago) I managed to purchase the color cards at a reasonable price.  One of the colors for that fall season was called "Lemon Curry" which I fell in love with.  Here are some of the first beads that I  made using this shade of yellow:

Misted Yellow is pretty much a lighter version of the Lemon Curry yellow.  If you have my "Clay Color System" tutorial, then you already have this recipe and by adding a bit of white, pearl or the White Mix formula, you will get the Misted Yellow version.

Clay Color Recipe for
Misted Yellow

2 parts Mix #6-4 (Lemon Curry)
1 part Mix # 1-2

Here are some pieces I made using Julie Picarello's mokume technique in the combination of Cypress, Aurora Red and Misted Yellow.

Scarf necklace bail and beads

Earring Beads

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Pantone Fall 2014 Fashion Colors Sangria and Aurora Red

There are two shades of red included in the Pantone fall colors this year.  Aurora Red is an orange-tone where Sangria is a blue-tone that I would consider to be more a shade of burgandy than a red.  I've been playing around with both of these reds to see what other colors they combine well with.

Aurora Red with Bright Cobalt
Aurora Red with Cypress
Aurora Red with Misted Yellow

Color Recipe for
Aurora Red

8 parts Kato Red
1 part Kato Gold

"Color Combinations Using Sangria"

Sangria with Aluminum
Sangria with Cypress
Sangria with Royal Blue

Color Recipe for

3 parts Kato Red
4 parts Kato Magenta
1/2 part Kato Blue
1 part Mix 1-2*

* See my "Clay Color System" tutorial for this color mix recipe.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Pantone Fall 2014 Fashion Color Cypress

Shades of olive and lime green are my absolute favorite colors and I was really happy to see this rich shade called Cypress as one of the Pantone fall colors.  I love this green and it combines really well with most of the other fall shades.  To create this color I have used some metallic gold in the mix which gives it a beautiful sheen.

Whenever I mix up my colors, I like to make up a set of sample chips to double check the colors as sometimes they can change or darken slightly after baking.  If the recipe needs a little more tweaking, I will remix and then bake another sample chip until I am satisfied.  When I am happy with the color mix I like to then bake up several more color chips.  The first set goes into my "Color System" album.  The second set is for my "Pantone color collection card".

The third set is mainly for playing with on my work table to help visualize different color combinations like the ones shown below.  I also like to keep them in a little pouch in my purse so when I am shopping I can identify the various colors in the stores.

"Color Combinations using Cypress"

Cypress with Aurora Red
Cypress with Misted Yellow
Cypress with Radiant Orchid
Cypress with Sangria
So here is the color recipe for

Follow the clay color recipe for
"Forest" #7-7*
-- add 2 parts of Kato Black

* The clay color recipe for "Forest #7-7" is found in my "Clay Color System" tutorial.

One more thing.  When the softglass cord we ordered from Shades of Clay arrived the other day I was pleasantly surprised to see how the Avocado color was a perfect match for the Pantone shade of Cypress.  I am so glad we ordered extra in this color as it will go nicely with some of the jewelry pieces we are making.