Thursday, December 31, 2015

Last Day of 2015

It is finally time to kiss another year good-bye.  Dave and I have both faced many challenges (good and bad) this past year and so look forward to a fresh start and new experiences for 2016.

It is always good to learn new things and I am always pushing myself to experiment with the clay and using the computer more.  We managed to open our own online store which took many hours to set up but very rewarding in the end.  I also created my first video tutorial which is part of the new 2016 Polymer Clay Adventure Retreat!  I will be teaching how to create colorful Kite Beads and a Kite Focal Bead.  Then I show you how to put it all together to create a statement necklace and matching earring pieces.

There are other exciting projects from 24 other teachers so the whole year is packed full of learning new things and it all starts January 1st!  There are forums so you can connect with your instructors and ask them questions as well as make new friends who share the same passion.

I still have more copies of my soon to be published "From Scrap Clay to Art Deco" tutorial to give away.  If you would like to receive your free copy, then register soon here.

And if polymer clay is not your art form?  There are two other retreats this year that you can take part in!  A Quilted Adventure Retreat and an Art Jewelry Adventure Retreat!  So sign up soon so you can be a part of this great fun!  You can click on any of the photos above or the button below to register.

See you there!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Merry Christmas
to all of our followers!

It has been snowing here for the last few days so it really is a winter wonderland where we are.  If we are lucky, tomorrow we might see the Mountain Sheep come down the mountain looking for grass to graze on.  It is always a nice treat when they do.

Each year we make a special limited edition Christmas ornament only for our wholesale clients as a collectors item.  Since we were really into snowflakes this year we decided to go with that theme.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Interchangeable Snaps for Sewing and Knitting

When I first discovered the original (made in China) "Snap" jewelry on the internet I let out a squeal and was so excited about the concept.  I immediately started researching out suppliers to see how we could incorporate this inventive idea with our clay.  My original idea was not only to use it for jewelry but in some way add it to items that were sewn, knit, crocheted or felted and accessories like leather shoes or belts.

After a lot of experimentation and testing we came up with several methods to add interchangeable snap bases to your finished items.  The first method is a snap base that you actually sew on which we have invented and made ourselves.  This is the simplest way to create an interchangeable button for items such as a jacket or handbag like the one shown below.

Handbag with Sew on Snap Base
Handbag with Snap Base and Flower "Snap" that is Interchangeable

Sew on Snap Base to Create an Interchangeable Button
These sew on snap bases are now available in our online shop (click here or on the above photo).

The other method is attaching the snap base to your item using a crimping tool.  It is simple to attach this way to an item that is knit or crocheted, however you will need to use a sewing awl to make your hole in a fabric garment such as a jacket.  If you do this I recommend sealing the hole with fabric glue or "Fray Check" before attaching the snap base.   If you are attaching your snap base to a material such as leather, then you will need to punch a hole before crimping.  The snap bases and tools shown above are available in our online shop (click here or on the above photo).

Here I have attached a snap base to a felted hat.  When the brim was turned up it was too thick for the snap to go through both layers so I attached it to the outside brim only.  I had to put a hole through the felted brim with an awl in order for the bottom part of the snap base to fit through.  Now I can attach different Art Bead "Snaps" for a fun new look or to coordinate with what I am wearing!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Tools for Sewing - Seam Rippers

Our shipment of seam ripper supplies arrived a few weeks ago but we had some orders to fill before finally getting around to making some to list in our online store.  We have a few listed right now (click on the photos to see) and working on listing more soon.

Double-ended Seam Ripper
In the meantime I was working on a new design where the seam ripper can clip to a bag or be worn as a necklace.  I love this idea as it is a great way to keep it handy.

Necklace Seam Ripper

Necklace Seam Ripper

Monday, November 30, 2015

Another Cyber Monday Post??

Yes we are aware it was Cyber Monday (almost over) and if you received as many e-mails today as we did, I know you are probably rolling your eyes by now!  But since it has been a week since I posted last (where has the time gone?) I thought I'd better get with the program and give you an update.  Between Dave's health being up and down since his surgery in September and me trying to get over my pneumonia, I haven't accomplished as much as I would like to and still running to keep up!

First thing -- this was the last day to take advantage of the free snowflake charm and tutorial offer.   I decided to make the tutorial available but it will be for sale as an addition to our "Snap" Decisions tutorial.  This doesn't have to be used just to create a snowflake but is a variation on creating a textured snap from a mould and scrap clay.  I haven't got it listed yet -- give me a few days and I promise it will be available.
Also, if you still planning to attend the 2016 Polymer Clay Adventure Retreat, you still have the opportunity to receive a complimentary copy of my new tutorial (not yet published), "From Scrap Clay to Art Deco".  We were informed that we will be receiving the names who have already signed up through us later this week and as soon as we receive the list we will be sending out copies of the tutorial to those on it.

This offer is available to the first 50 who sign up by the end of the year through us.  If you haven't registered for the Polymer Clay Adventure Retreat yet and would like this free bonus gift, all you need to do is register through the link below.

This retreat really is a good deal and they are even offering a payment plan if you can't pay it all at once.  Just think of all the new things you can learn -- all year long!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Snowflakes in Purple and Testing Mica Powders!

We love the rich jewel tone colors and shimmer effect of mica powders.  One thing we have learned is that the colors in the jar can look real exciting but sometimes don't look the same when applied to the clay and can even be a little disappointing.  One example of this is the new color Magenta by Pearl Ex.  When you open the jar you are greeted with a shade of hot pink.  When you apply it to some black clay, however, it doesn't look pink but instead it becomes a pretty purple!

So this is the powder we used to create the purple background on our snowflake items such as the "snaps" and shawl pins.

Snowflake "Snaps"
"Snap" Necklace with Snowflake "Snaps"
"Snap" Bracelet with Snowflake "Snaps"
Snowflake Shawl Pin in Purple
There is only one week left to receive a free copy of my Snowflake "Snap" tutorial and we still have some snowflake charms in stock.  You can read about our promotion in a previous blog post here.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Snowflake Shawl Pins

For the winter season we made some snowflake shawl pins in assorted colors -- Black, Blue, Teal and Purple.  The snowflake pattern on the end of the stick was made from the same snowflake finding used to create our snowflake snaps.

These shawl pins are now available at Donna's Yarn & Craft in Kamloops, BC and Kelowna Yarn & Needlecrafts in Kelowna, BC.  We also made extra and listed them in our online store here.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Button Make and Take Class at A Twist of Yarn

We had a full class last Saturday morning that was held at A Twist of Yarn in Vernon. The ladies all had fun making textured buttons in the jewel tone colors using mica powders.  We have been using the Sculpey Souffle clay for these workshops as we have found it to be the best clay suited for this technique and is soft enough where you do not need a pasta machine and can roll it by hand.  We provide all the materials and supplies for these classes and the ladies just come and have fun.

A Twist of Yarn is located in a vintage Heritage home that has been beautifully restored inside and out.  They have several rooms upstairs for gatherings and classes which worked out really well.

The ladies enjoyed the class so much they asked us to do our beginner workshop so they can learn more.  Hopefully we have more potential members for our Okanagan Polymer Clay Guild as well.

We are taking a break from our classes for the next couple of months as the winter climate settles in but already booking for next year.  If you are in the area and interested in any of these classes, you can keep up to date by checking our Events page on our website or contact us so we can add your name to our list for sign-ups.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Mixing Up Mica Powder Colors -- Zircon Teal Blue

Have you found that sometimes you just can't find that perfect mica powder color for a project you are working on?  I have and when I was looking for a shade of teal to match the Zircon colored Swarovski crystals we use I decided to pull out our mica powders and mix some up until I got the shade I wanted.  It is fun to experiment and create new colors this way.

Before I actually started mixing up lots of powders I combined tiny amounts on a piece of parchment paper with my fingers.

Once I figured out the combination, I then proceeded with mixing up my actual recipe.  All you need is a container for your new mix and a small (1/8 or 1/4) measuring spoon.

Measure out your powders and add them to your new container.  I used a metal poultry lacer (bead piercing tool) to level off the mica powders.

The end of the metal skewer works really well for mixing up the powders without spilling and making a mess.

I share this Teal color recipe I mixed up in my new "Snowflake Snap" tutorial.  This tutorial is not for sale right now.  It is a bonus offer and you can receive your free copy plus a snowflake charm when you order $35 or more from our Snap Supplies in our online store.  You can read more about this promotion and find the coupon code in my past blog post here.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Polymer Clay Adventure Retreat - payment plan and gift purchases now available.

I am so excited to be a part of the 2016 Polymer Clay Adventure Retreat!  This is a fun way to improve your polymer clay skills, learn some new techniques and make some new friends!  It is more than just lessons but a community you can connect with.  You can ask the teachers questions and share what you have made from the classes with the others.  Here is a cool video put together showing all the teachers and the fun projects that are all included in this year long retreat that you can attend right from the comfort of your own home!

This whole all-inclusive retreat is all for only $99 (U.S.).  And if it is too much to pay for all at once, they are now offering a 3x payment plan!  And now with the holiday season, gift purchases are also available for that special person or loved one.

I am still offering my new tutorial, "From Scrap Clay to Art Deco" as a bonus gift to the first 50 who sign up (click here or on the above photo) for the Polymer Clay Retreat through me.  Even if you are not ready to purchase, click on the link to be sure you will be registered under me later.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Special Snowflake Promotion Offer

We made more snowflake pattern "snaps" but this time in a zircon teal blue.  We also stocked up our online store with more Swarovski crystals in the smaller sizes and popular colors.  These are the "hot fix" type used in my tutorials and are more secure as the glue is activated and melts with the heat when baking your clay pieces.

I have a new 6 page tutorial on making this Snowflake snap.  In the lesson I show a quick method for making a mould from a finding using scrap clay and then using your mould to create a textured snap that will fit into the snap bezels.  I show how to make a snowflake snap like the ones shown here but you can create other designs with your own findings or use your mould to create other items such as a pendant, earrings or even buttons.

We have a new promotion for the holidays which was featured in our online store newsletter.   We won't generally be sharing our newsletter promotions here on our blog but we didn't want anyone to miss out on this offer in time for Christmas. 

With a minimum purchase of $35 in Snap supplies, we will include a snowflake charm (limited supply) plus my new (6 page) PDF tutorial that will be sent directly to you by e-mail.  You will also receive a bonus of 10% off your total order (excluding shipping).

This offer is good until the end of November.   To receive your free items plus discount, click here or on the above photo and purchase a minimum of $35 from our Snap supply findings and then use the coupon code:  Snowflaketute  at the checkout.

If you don't want to miss out on any future offers like this, then we encourage you to sign up for our newsletter here.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Button Make & Take Classes

We just finished our Button "Make & Take" class at Lynden Tree Yarns in Grande Forks, BC.  The ladies made some really beautiful buttons for their knitting or quilting projects.  Some even made a pendant or two as well.  It was nice to be able to visit Lynn's lovely store again before the snow flies as the roads through the mountains in the winter time are not the best for travelling on.  We plan to go back again in the spring and will hold another class or two then.

We are holding another Button making class this Saturday, November 14, but this time at A Twist of Yarn in Vernon.  The class is from 10:00 to 1:30 and you can contact them direct if you are interested and to see if there is still a space available.