Wednesday, December 31, 2014

A Toast to the New Year with the Pantone Color Marsala

Marsala is the Pantone Fashion Color of the Year for 2015.  This rich shade is described by Pantone as a naturally robust and earthy wine red.  Leatrice Eiseman, Pantone Color Institute's executive director,  describes it in a press release as:  "Much like the fortified wine that gives marsala its name, this tasteful hue embodies the satisfying richness of a fulfilling meal, while it's grounding red-brown roots emanate a sophisticated, natural earthiness."

When I did an image search on this Pantone color there were a lot of photos showing celebrities wearing this dramatic shade of red.   Add this glamorous color to your creations this year and let your star power shine.

So I have two versions of this color recipe using
Kato poly clay.
The full rich shade
and the other a "Sparkling".


4 parts "Crimson" # 4-5 *
1 part "White Mix" # 1-2 *

Sparkling Marsala

2 parts "Crimson" # 4-5 *
1 part Kato Pearl

* These clay base colors are found in my
"Clay Color System" tutorial
available as an instant download in
or manually sent in an e-mail from

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Pantone Spring 2015 Fashion Colors

We are right in the middle of winter and already longing for spring so I have pulled out the Pantone Spring 2015 Fashion colors to mix up some new clay recipes.  I can't think of anything better to start the year than sharing some new clay colors with you.

This year's spring color choices are cooler and softer with subtle warm tones taking a cue from nature.  They follow a minimalistic "En Plein Air" theme.  (French for:  "In the Open Air")

With our year end coming up we have been busy with paper work and have been away from playing with clay for a week now.  I haven't noticed any withdrawl symptoms yet but am starting to get an itch (or is that a twitch?) to dive into it!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all our followers, fans and friends.  We are spending Christmas day with Dave's mom who is now in an extended care nursing home.

We will be spending a quiet day tomorrow celebrating 28 wonderful years of married life together.

Some Christmas baking a friend shared with us.
Update:  Dec 30, 2015

Dave's mom suddenly passed away early this morning.  We were really glad to have spent a happy time with her on Christmas day.  She will be missed.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Extruded Square Spiral Beads and Memory Wire Bracelets

When I first saw this free tutorial published by Marie Segal a while ago, I knew I wanted to give it a try.  It was even one of the first things I pinned to my Polymer clay pinterest board but it kept getting pushed down to the bottom of our "things to play with" list.  Then one day while working on our memory wire bracelets, I remembered those beads and immediately pulled out our extruder and dies and had to give it a whirl.  You need to make the extruded tubes first with the special clay core adapter to create a hole in the tubes for the beads.

Extruded strands with mica powders applied before twisting
I love how they turned out but for a memory wire type bracelet, we decided they should have a curve for a better fit and easier threading.  We had a bunch of these cool tins for covering with clay which are the same size as the wire so decided to use some as a baking form.  After applying the mica powders and twisting the long ropes, we gently arranged them inside the tins.  We placed the lids on each tin so they could be stacked on the baking tray in the oven.

Here are the long bead tubes after baking.  To seal the mica powders we like to spray them first with the PYM11 (Preserve Your Memories 11).  It was much easier to spray them first before cutting into bead lengths.  This way the mica powders wouldn't rub off during the cutting process.  To make cutting easier, we warmed the tubes first in the oven and then used a sharp, rigid tissue blade for cutting.

We then applied several coats of Pledge (Future) and then baked again at 200 F to harden the finish.

Here they are a few strung on the memory wire as bracelets.  We like adding our own clay rondelle spacer beads in with the twisted tubes.

To see our tutorial on how to make your own memory wire bracelets you can click here.  Making the beads and the bracelets are a lot of fun and so we have been making them in a wide assortment of colors.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Intwined Fibre Arts in Salmon Arm

Intwined Fibre Arts is a quaint yarn shop that opened up in Salmon Arm just over a year ago.  They already outgrew their space so moved to a larger one just down the street from one block.  We just love their new store even more an their unique layout.  They have been selling our buttons and shawl accessories but have now added more for a larger selection.  They haven't had time to celebrate their new location yet but when things settle down after Christmas, we are looking forward to doing a live demonstration in their store.  So here is a peek at what their new shop looks like:

Front area and window of shop
Another sectioned off area
Area in the back for relaxing or knitting
Their cute little store scottie mascot
Althea, shop owner/manager
Our button and accessories
Our scarf jewelry and other accessories

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Crochet Cowl Pattern Using our Buttons

Kim and Tara of Knot Sew Cute Design Shop create the most fabulous crochet patterns.  Kim just published her latest pattern -- this gorgeous v-shaped cowl which shows off our handcrafted buttons in the woodgrain pattern.  Don't you love this picture?  Our buttons never looked so good!  To see more of their crochet patterns, you can check out their Etsy Shop, or visit their blog where they have links to the many other shops they are available (column on right hand side).

We make the buttons shown here in assorted textured patterns.  They are available in a rich antique shade of brown....

... and for those who prefer more color, we make them in bright and muted shades as well.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Special Made Crochet Hooks

We have been extra busy this year as we have added lots of new items to sell in the yarn shops.  Some of these are specialty type items for knitting and crocheting.  Our crochet hooks were a bigger hit than we expected them to be so are selling fast.  Each handle is covered in clay in our own decorative patterns, with extra care taken on the "grip" part so it is comfortable while holding.

The hook size is embedded into the end for identification.

They are sold individually in sizes 2.0 through 10.0 and also in a 6 piece "made to order" set that includes a soft faux leather case.

We have also come out with an interchangeable crochet hook set.  The heads easily interchange in the handle that is covered with our own decorative floral patterns.

All our crochet hooks are available at:

(Northshore, Kamloops)


(Downtown, Salmon Arm) 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Christmas Earrings & Chase Country Christmas

Our Chase Country Christmas is this weekend and we are preparing for our local craft fair on Saturday at the community hall.  It is a fun time and starts with a parade Friday evening with other events throughout the weekend.

These are some Christmas earring beads we made this year and will have for sale at the craft show.  All our earring beads and ear wires are sold separately to mix and match in our interchangeable system.

We will have lots of candy cane earrings on hand.  These are a real popular item this time of year.  We made some longer styles with chain tassels and Czech crystals in red or green.  You can click here to see my free tutorial I shared on this blog 3 years ago.  I added a slight variation on this last year which you will find here.

The red rondelle beads in these earrings are made from polymer clay and look like real glass pearls.  I have a published tutorial to make these type of beads.

These earring beads have Swarovski crystals embedded.  These beads are also reversible making them more versatile to wear year round.  To create the snowflake pattern, we used some metal snowflake findings to make our own "texture plates".  I share how to make your own texture plates and these type of beads in my "Constructing Accent Pieces for your Scarves, Sweaters & Shawls" tutorial.

Snowflakes are the theme for this year's Country Christmas celebration so we made some in different colors.

We love this time of year when we can get together with our friends and neighbors and really look forward to this weekend.