Saturday, December 31, 2016

Countdown to a New Year

This is the last day of 2016 and we are looking forward to a new year with new ideas, new colors and new inspiration!  It has been a tradition for us to have a Fondue dinner every new years eve and as I was pulling out several of our fondue pots I realized I never did share this.  I covered this dessert fondue pot and set of forks about 10 years ago and still use it today.

This is my go to fondue recipe book from the Company's Coming Series and Canadian author Jean Pare.  One of our favorite recipes is the Tomato Soup fondue.

So wishing all of our followers, friends and colleagues a happy new year!

Friday, December 30, 2016

Pantone Color of the Year - Greenery

I have been mixing up the new Pantone Fashion Colors for Spring 2017.   This new color palette is one of my favorites so far and I am especially excited about the Pantone color of the year for 2017 which is Greenery -- my favorite color!

Pantone describes these new colors as a mixture of vitality, relaxation and the great outdoors.  You can read more about each of the colors and the inspiration behind them in the article here.  

So I thought what better way to start out the new year than to share some new color recipes and will post them for you next week.  Perhaps thinking of spring colors will warm our spirits and cheer us up a bit during the cold winter season.

In the meantime, I will be posting some new color inspiration ideas to our pinterest board if you want to follow.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Merry Christmas

We just want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas.  This Nativity Scene was created by the ladies at the Samunnat Project in Nepal which we purchased from them a few years ago.  It is one of the favorite Christmas decorations we like to put out each year.  I love all the little details they put into each piece.

Nativity Scene created by the Samunnat Project in Nepal

We will continue our support for the project for another year.  One of the ways is providing any buffing pads needed for their Dremel tools as well as donating a portion of our buffing pad sales.  So with every purchase you make, you are helping out as well and until the end of the year we are making a larger donation from each pack that is sold.

Merry Christmas
and a prosperous 2017!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Turn Your Clay Designs into a Scarf Clip - Tutorial

A few years ago I shared a tutorial on how to attach some metal scarf clips to your clay.  These clips turned out to be so popular that the supplier had run out and could not get any more.  We were very disappointed and I know many of you were as well.  I said that we would let you know if we ever came across more of these findings and now here we are bearing the good news!

Polymer Clay Scarf Clip
These clips are different from the originals we used before so I have been working with them to create a new lesson for you on how to attach your clay designs.   The clips are now available in our online store in the jewelry findings section in 5 or 10 packs.

Note:  I have added this mini lesson as a bonus pdf file to my Scarf Accents tutorial.  If you have already purchased our tutorial and would like a downloadable copy of this, please contact us (click here) and we will e-mail it out to you.  We will just need the date of purchase, e-mail address or some type of info identifying yourself as proof of purchase (through Etsy, etc.).

So now on to the lesson:

These clips have a strong spring action and come in two parts --   The flat pad with a clip on the back and a curved 'sieve'.  This sieve is for adding beaded designs but also comes in handy for adding your clay and creates a curve at the same time.  I will share with you two methods for adding your clay designs to these clips.  One is using the sieve part and the other without.

Method 1

# 1 to # 4 - Attach the sieve to the clip base by fitting it between the 4 prongs.  Bend each of the prongs down so they are flat and the sieve is secure.  To do this, grab a prong with your pliers (#3) and pull it downwards then squeeze both pieces together.

# 5 – Prepare your clay design or veneer so it is a medium thickness.  Cut a circle that is the same size as the scarf clip base.

# 6 – Place the clay circle over top of the scarf clip (the sieve portion) and press it on so it is smooth and level.

# 7 to # 8 – You can add any embellishments such as rhinestone crystals, at this point.  Here I am adding a Swarovski crystal (hot fix) to the center. 

Bake your piece for at least 30 minutes at the temperature recommended for the type of clay you are using.  Allow it to cool before going on to the next step.

# 9 – Add some liquid clay around the outside edge so the raw clay will adhere when baked.

# 10 – Roll out some clay for the back at a medium-thin setting.  Cut a circle that is slightly larger than the scarf clip and cut across into two pieces (about ¼ of the way down).

# 11 – With an X-acto knife or small square cutter, cut a notch out to fit around the clip portion at the back.

# 12 – Fit the two clay circle portions onto the back of the clip and blend the seam together with a shaper tool or your finger.

# 13 – Bring the clay up to the front of the clip, pressing it firmly against the sides so it fits nice and snug with no air pockets.

# 14 – With a sharp tissue blade, trim the excess clay so that it is flush with the front and creates a frame around your piece.

# 15 - Texture the back and sides to camouflage any marks or fingerprints.  Bake your piece for at least 30 minutes at the recommended temperature for the brand of clay you are using.

Method 2

This method is for adding the scarf clip to an already baked clay design and without using the sieve portion.

# 16 – Roll out a medium thin sheet of clay and cut out a circle the same size as the scarf clip.

# 17 – Place the clay circle onto the front of the clip making sure no air is trapped in between.

# 18 - With some pliers, bend each of the prongs down and into the raw clay.  This will anchor the clay into place and not move after it is baked.

# 19 – Apply some liquid clay to the back of your baked clay design.

# 20 – Position the scarf clip down onto the back of the clay design and press it in so it makes good contact.

# 21 – Roll out some clay for the back at a medium-thin setting.  Cut a circle that is slightly larger than the scarf clip and cut across into two pieces (about ¼ of the way down).

# 22 – Place the bottom clay circle portion onto the back as shown.

# 23 and # 24 – With an X-acto knife or small square cutter, cut a notch out to fit around the clip portion at the back.

# 25 – Trim any excess clay around the outside edge.

# 26 – Blend the seams together and the outside edges with a shaper tool or your fingers.

Texture the back and sides (see step 15) to camouflage any any marks or fingerprints.  Bake your piece for at least 30 minutes at the recommended temperature for the brand of clay you are using.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and have fun with it.  If so, we like to hear from you and leave a comment.

To see how to wear these clips, you can check out a few ideas on our website.  We will be updating with new photos and ideas very soon!  

Monday, December 19, 2016

Our New Scarf Clip Findings Arrived!

We are very excited that we finally found some new findings to create the scarf clips!  They are not quite the same as the original clips we used in my tutorial I shared a few years ago but are a little easier to work with.

I will be sharing with you very soon on how to work with these new clips and add your clay designs to them.  In the meantime we have already added them to our online store in the jewelry findings section so they are ready to purchase.

And remember that our buffing pads are on sale until the end of December.  We are donating a larger portion of the sale to the Samunnat project until then as well (you can read more about that in our last post here.)

If you are looking to purchase some of our finished scarf clips, we have some new designs added to our online store.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

A Time to Give . . . From Buffing Pads to the Samunnat in Nepal

One of the most popular items we make are our buffing pads for the Dremel tool.  These can make a huge difference in your finished clay and bring them to a beautiful high shine that is like glass!  We have been making them for quite a few years now and they work incredibly well!  You can see some of the buffing tips we shared in an earlier post here.

For several years now we have been donating a portion of our sales to the Samunnat Project in Nepal.  Thanks to the polymer clay community, they have been able to add a second floor to their house and even have some luxuries that we take for granted like running water and a flush toilet!  We know there are still so many more needs and still continue to help when we can.  Click here to read more about the project.

The ladies at this project make beautiful polymer clay beads and jewelry as you can see in the above photo.  You can follow more about them now on Instagram.

These buffing pads are for sale in our online store in 2 size packs and also in our Etsy shop

So what about our buffing pads and why are they so special?

#1 - They are made from a special type of cloth that will bring your clay to a super high shine with very little effort!

# 2 - They are a little larger than the average buffing pad so they will last a little longer.

# 3 - You can stack several together for an extra wide buffing surface.  This allows buffing on larger items.

# 4 - Instructions are included in every package.

Here is what others have said about them:

Wow I'm impressed with this buffing pad. It is like magic. I have a buffing wheel but this shines the clay pieces faster and shines better. I'm glad I bought 6.  (Christine)

Quick delivery, buffing pads do a great job with my little dremel... woohoo! :)  (Jenny)

Great product! Polishes my pieces perfectly with the wax they reccomended in their tutorials. Thanks! I will be back for more when I run out ☺️  (Julie L)

Never seen Fimo shine so much!  (Joanna)

These are the BEST for polishing without damaging polymer clay!!! Brilliant!!!!!  (Shelly)

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

New Polymer Clay Designs in a Snap!

I love making snaps!  I think I like making them even more than beads.  I think it is because I can create so many different designs and I never seem to run out of ideas!  As a matter of fact, I challenge anyone to come up with a clay technique that cannot be created in a snap!

So why snaps instead of beads?  Because they can interchange and be worn in so many different ways!  This way we focus on creating the 'art' and the customer can choose how to wear it!

So here are some of our latest creations in a snap and ideas on how they can be worn.

Interchangeable Animal Print Snaps

Scarf Slide with Interchangeable Snaps

Paw Prints in a Snap

Interchangeable Lace Snaps

Scarf Slide with Interchangeable Snap

Interchangeable Snowflake Snaps - Teal Frost and Icy Blue 

Necklace with Interchangeable Snaps

All of these snaps are available in our online store and some designs now in our Etsy shop.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Snap Decisions Collection at the Silhouette Fashion Boutique

Our trunk show at the Silhouette Fashion Boutique last Monday afternoon went really well.  It was a great opportunity to share a little bit about the polymer clay and how our pieces are created with some of the staff and their customers.  We have a nice portable set up for smaller pop-up shows like these and can surprisingly still show off most of the pieces from our Snap Decisions Collection.

The Silhouette Fashion Boutique is one of the nicest shops I've been to.  The clothing selection is really fabulous including all the top Canadian designs plus more!  There is something there for almost every body shape as well as a great selection in style and color.  If you aren't sure what you would look good in, the staff there are very helpful.

Owner, TJ (left) and worker, Hazel (right)

Silhouette Fashion Boutique, Salmon Arm

Window display at Silhouette Fashion Boutique

Silhouette Fashion Boutique, Salmon Arm
You can now find a selection of our Snap Decisions Collection at this wonderful store.  These make a great accessory to go with that new outfit or an excellent gift.  Here are a few samples of what you will find there:

Chain belts with 3 interchangeable snap bases in 2 different styles: 

Crystal accent belt with interchangeable snap bases

'Lace' interchangeable snap belt
Zipper Necklace:  This longer necklace has a pretty rhinestone framed snap base on an elegant stainless steel snake chain.  This necklace is easy wear as there is no clasp to fiddle with.  The snap base slides up and down the chain like a zipper and can be worn at any length. 

Zipper Lariat Necklace

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Trunk Show at Silhouette Fashion Boutique

Hey everyone in the Salmon Arm area!  Come on out next Monday, December 5th between 1-4 pm to the Silhouette Fashion Boutique.  (Located at 380 Alexander Street -- across from Askew's Foods downtown)

T.J., the owner, has invited us to introduce our Snap Decision jewelry to her line of clothes by Canadian designers, Frank Lyman, Joseph Ribkoff, Tribal and Pretty Women.

This new shop has been open for just over a month and has been very successful. 

We are excited about matching up a selection of our necklaces, bracelets, belts and earrings with their latest fall and winter fashions.

Zipper Lariat Necklace with Interchangeable Decorative Snap

Zipper Lariat Necklace with Interchangeable Poinsettia Snap

Zipper Lariat Necklace with Interchangeable Poinsettia Snap

Come on out and have some fun!   See you there!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Necklace with a Front Magnetic Closure and Snap Base

We have some really cool necklaces in our online store.  They are made with a thick genuine braided leather and have a front magnetic clasp.  There is a snap base on the front part of the clasp for creating interchangeable designs.  These necklaces were one of our best sellers at the Lake Country Art Walk last September and were popular with both men and women.

We now also have the clasp to make your own necklace in our Snap DIY supplies section.

To make you own necklace is quick and easy.  The advantage to this is you can use almost any cord that is 6mm thick and in any custom length.  You can also use several strands of thinner cord for a different look.   Here I am using some faux snakeskin cord that is super soft and drapes beautifully.

You can use either superglue (gel) or E6000.  Place a dab of glue on some scrap paper and apply it to one end of the cord with a toothpick.  Add the glue all around the cord up to 1/4" from the end as well as the very end tip.

Push the cord end firmly into the back part of the clasp.  Allow it to dry a bit before gluing the other end.

Lay the cord out flat so it curves naturally around in an open circle.

To prevent the cord from twisting, put the two claps pieces together before gluing and inserting the opposite end.

Larger snaps also work really well on these necklaces making them so versatile.