Thursday, July 30, 2015

Sunny Yellow and Black Silkscreen Pills & Coffee Print

So here are some more snaps with the black paint silkscreened on a deep yellow background.  The silkscreen used here was another one by Helen Breil called Pills & Coffee.  I really love how this print really pops when it is done this way.

Snaps for interchangeable jewelry

Bracelet with 5 interchangeable snaps

Cuff Links with interchangeable snaps

Necklace pendant with interchangeable snap

Necklace pendant with interchangeable snap

In my latest tutorial, Creating Interchangeable Polymer Clay Jewelry in a Snap, I show how to fill these special "snap" bezels with your clay patterns.  If you had already purchased my tutorial and are following our blog, we created these snaps using the same method for the Cabochon on page 6.  For the final step (#16) we used a little piece of organza fabric to texture which gave a cloth like finish. After baking, we spray them with the PYM11 which makes the colors pop and that is all you need.

There is still time to purchase your copy of my tutorial and entered into our draw for a chance to win one of 3 copies of our part 2 tutorial soon to come.  You can read more about this here.

And one more tip for you today.  Even though Helen's silkscreens are great quality, we want them to last a long time so we store them with pieces of parchment paper in between.  We have this stationary box where they are a perfect fit for the drawer.  The top part holds our deli paper and works like a kleenex dispenser so they are handy to grab.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Bold and Bright

Here are some more snaps we created that are quite different than the ones I last showed you.  These were created with the same silkscreens by Helen Breil that were in my last post.  I love the bold effect that black paint can have on a bright colored background as in the Freesia Yellow and Chartreuse Green shown here.  These snaps and jewelry items will be listed in our online shop soon.

Ring with interchangeable snap

Bracelet with interchangeable snaps

Bracelets with interchangeable snaps
Cuff links with interchangeable snaps
Pendant with interchangeable snaps

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Playing with Silkscreens

I first learned screen printing in art class many years ago so I was curious about applying it to polymer clay.  I thought using the new Sculpey silkscreen kit would be a good way to start and so we gave it a try.  We really liked the paint that came with the kit -- especially the silver and some of the patterns were very intricate and was impressed with the fine detail they gave.

We had a lot of fun trying out the different patterns and experimenting with different colors.  Helen Breil gives a good basic tutorial and tips on coloring on her website here.

The disappointing thing, however, was after using some of the patterns from the Sculpey kit repeatedly, we noticed the silkscreens were quickly deteriorating and the backing was pealing off. We were extremely careful handling them and would put them in water immediately after each use so the paint would easily wash off.

I really love using the texture sheets by Helen Breil and decided to give her new silkscreens a try.  As soon as I opened the package and handled them, I could tell they were a much higher quality from the ones that were in the Sculpey kit.  We made a few buttons to start.  These are both curved into a concave shape.

We then decided to make some of the prints into snaps for our Snap Decisions interchangeable jewelry.  These ones were made with silver paint and then mica powdered.  The buttons above were left smooth where the ones below were textured so gave a more muted softer look which reminded me of a silk fabric.

Here are some of the snaps in a few pieces of snap base findings.  I love how they can be interchanged and worn so many ways.  We have these and many more styles to choose from in our online shop.

"Snaps" worn as a Ring, Necklace or Hair Barrette
We are working on getting in more snap supplies and have added another Snap Starter Kit (#5)

The single and double loop snap links (#6 & #7 above) have turned out quite popular so we will have them available in bulk when our order arrives.  They work great for making your own bracelets or as earrings:

These starter kits are at a reduced cost and a great way to sample some of the findings or if you would just like to create some interchangeable jewelry for yourself or as gifts.  We created them to go along with my latest tutorial:  Interchangeable Jewelry Pieces from Polymer Clay ... in a Snap!!!

And there is still time for a chance to win (out of 3) our part 2 tutorial.  You can read all about it on a previous blog post here.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Our Okanagan Guild Meeting

We had another great time at our new Okanagan Polymer Clay Guild meeting last weekend.  We have been meeting in the little town of Westwold which happens to be somewhat central between our members.  It is always nice to meet with other types of polymer clay artists.

Cassy-Rose is one of our newer members who drove all the way from Kelowna to join us.  Cassy loves to sculpt and she brought her latest project with her.  When she first showed us the photos, it was difficult to imagine how large this piece really is!

If you visit her facebook page you can see her step by step process as she creates her masterpiece as well as see some of her past work.

At our meeting I showed everyone how to make a Stroppel Cane.  We have several containers of scraps from our cane making so put them out for everyone to play with and this was the result:

And then we all made some beads from the canes.  The technique is named after Alice Stroppel who invented it and you can see the video here on her site.  

Afterwards, we took some time out to show how to sand their finished pieces and then Dave demonstrated how to use the Dremel to buff them to a high shine.  We feel this is an important part to working with polymer clay as anyone can create but the finishing can elevate you to a higher level. 

We are all looking forward to our next meeting in September.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Snap Decisions - Interchanging polymer patterns

Most of our jewelry pieces we make have basically been on a larger scale.  Since working with our new interchangeable "snap" jewelry, however, our focus has slightly changed where many of our "snap" beads or cabochons are smaller than the average pendant.  Creating smaller pieces has its challenges but also its good points.  Working on a smaller scale you have less area for a pattern to show off well so you need to rethink your designs and come up with ones that fit.  On the brighter side, however, when creating clay veneer sheets it seems we always end up with some of those left-over pieces that are not large enough for earrings or you would like to use them in another way.  We have discovered that some of those really neat left-over designs make beautiful "snaps" for our interchangeable jewelry.

These "snaps" have a simple bezel frame and we have found an easy way to fill them with our clay patterns without using any glue.  They are fun to mix and match and wear in different ways like a ring, bracelet, hair barrette or necklace.  This is one of  the cabochon methods I share in my latest tutorial, "Creating Interchangeable Polymer Clay Jewelry in a Snap".  You can read more about it in my last blog post and the chance to win one of three give-a-ways of my Part 2 lesson that will be published soon.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

My New Tutorial is Done! Creating Interchangeable Jewelry Pieces from Polymer Clay in a Snap!

This is an exciting new concept in creating polymer clay pieces for jewelry that are interchangeable.  Imagine creating that perfect piece and being able to wear it as a pendant, or switch it out and wear it as a ring or on a bracelet.  Any clay technique you can imagine can be applied and it is not only fun to wear but fun to make as well.

When I first came across this idea I was ecstatic!!  It took months to research out and find the right findings that would work and could be best used with the clay.  After several more months of testing it out we had decided that this was our favorite way of creating jewelry pieces and wanted to share it.

This new system basically consists of a "snap" like finding that you either fill or add to the back of your clay design along with various jewelry findings to "snap" in and wear.  There are some little tricks to working with these snap findings and that is what I share with you in my new lesson.

Now for sale in our Etsy Shop
(as an instant download)
and also in our online store
(tutorial will be sent out by e-mail)

In this pdf lesson I give step by step instructions on the different ways to work with the snap findings as well as design ideas and inspiration for creating with them.  While any clay technique can be applied, as a bonus, I share in the lesson how to make our popular Jewel-tone Textured Flowers.  They are similar to my "Sculpted Flowers" technique but instead are textured and colored in rich jewel tones.

Also included is a 3 page photo gallery for inspiration along with supply references to help you find some of the unique findings and materials to create your interchangeable jewelry pieces.  For your convenience, we have the necessary findings to get you started available on our website. (click on photo below) and some we put together as starter packs. 


And following this lesson, look for Part 2
that will be coming soon ...

Make Your Own Snap Base findingsfrom Polymer Clay

Another a new concept for making your own snap base findings to create pendants, bracelets and necklaces from polymer clay.

And a chance to win this lesson for free!

Any person who purchases Part 1 of my tutorial:

Creating Interchangeable Polymer Clay Jewelry
Pieces . . .  in a Snap !!

will have their name entered into a random draw
for a chance to win our Part 2 tutorial:

Making Your Own Snap Base Findings
from Polymer Clay

We will choose 3 names to win this tutorial.

The draw will close
on the day our Part 2 of this tutorial
is published -- or August 5th -- 
whichever is sooner!

Winners will be announced
on that day

So have fun with this and good luck
in the contest!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Announcing our New Website On-line Store

Dave and I are happy to announce that our new online store is now up and running and you can check it out here.  We are still stocking "shelves" with more items which should fill up over the next week or so.  We will still be selling from our Etsy shop but an online store such as this allows us to have more of our handcrafted items available.

The prices may seem a little different from our Etsy shop but the difference is that our new online store is in Canadian dollars.

Regarding my tutorials and the European VAT tax situation, we will still be selling our tutorials through Etsy as instant downloads.  If you are from Europe and would prefer any tutorials purchased to be sent by e-mail, they are also available in our online store.