Friday, October 28, 2016

Major Studio Overhaul and Tour

When we moved to our new home nine years ago we made plans to include a complete studio for our clay.  It has been really good having a separate room in the house just for this with lots of work space and storage.  Over the years, however, we started to outgrow it resulting in some reorganizing to create more room.  Eventually it just wasn't working as well for us anymore and we decided a total overhaul and move to a different room in our home would be the best plan.  Even though this room isn't much bigger than the previous, the space within is more functional.

In the photo below you will see our main clay area all across the back wall which is more than 11 feet long.  We broke up the area so we would have two working heights.  On the right is counter height for standing and on the left is for sitting. 

2 Good Claymates - Overview of studio - front is jewelry making storage

2 Good Claymates - Studio Space - sitting area

At the one end and center of the room is the Ikea glass top table.  I positioned it there so it would be directly across from our lower/sitting counter top.  Since we do a lot of work with messy materials such as mica powders, inks and paints, we prefer to keep them away from the raw clay and a glass work surface is easier for clean-up. 

2 Good Claymates - Sit down area for working

Between the two sitting down areas is my favorite old but super heavy duty file cabinet.  This is such a useful item that we picked up a while ago from a used office furniture store.  I painted it black to give it a more modern look.  It makes the perfect base for one of our work counter tops (1).  Besides the large file drawer at the bottom (2), it has several other drawers that provide easy access to items we use on a regular basis.  The next lower drawer holds all our inks, glazes and specialty paints and tools (4).  The drawer above that shows all our mica and embossing powders for quick and easy color selection (5).  Above that is an additional work space that pulls out (6).  This is so handy when I need a little more work area.

Finally, at the bottom (3) is an extra storage drawer unit for storing solvents, glazes, glues, and pan pastels.

Our standing area is where we do all of our clay conditioning and mixing of colors.  The counter tops are a type of Formica and extremely durable so we can work with the clay right on it. 

2 Good Claymates - Standing Counter Height

I reorganized some of the drawers in the Ikea unit in the middle.  All our shape cutters fit in the top for easy access.

Our newest addition for the studio is the heavy duty drawer unit that Dave purchased for my birthday gift.  It is one of those pieces that is for organizing heavy tools in a garage and can hold a lot of weight like 800 pounds.  I needed something to hold the heavy counter top plus better storage for all our clay and this one does it all!  I also love the stainless steel front.  

It has 4 drawers that pull out all the way with a super smooth glide.  The bottom 2 drawers are very deep and hold our entire clay stock.  One drawer is for all the Premo and Souffle and the other holds all the large blocks of Kato and now extra space for our new Fimo Professional.  There isn't much black clay at the moment as more should be arriving from Shades of Clay any day.

The top 2 drawers are not as deep but I love how they keep all my clay color recipes organized.

And finally, in the opposite corner of the room, is our large rack for keeping our snap jewelry supplies organized and a new photo booth area with more storage.

We do have a large patio door that steps out onto our covered deck.  This is handy when I need to step outside to spray our work with the PYM11.

The hot tub is especially nice after a long hard day of claying.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Shuswap Women in Business Conference and Trade Show

We don't sell in too many shows but decided that taking part in the Shuswap Women in Business Trade Show could be fun and a great way to make new contacts.  I shared a space with my friend Joanne so we could spend some time together and cover for each other while attending a few of the workshops.

It was a good day and the interchangeable snap jewelry was a big hit as usual.  The space we had was very limited as compared to other shows so set-up was a little more challenging.  I find the packing, set-up and take down is always the most exhausting part of doing shows.  Each time I try to learn how I can make things a little easier for set-up the next time.

Joanne purchased my Scarf Accents tutorial some time ago and has been making her own scarf jewelry.  She had a selection of colors and styles for sale there.

Scarf Jewelry by Joanne and Scarf Slides by 2 Good Claymates

She also had some of her barbecue serving forks that she covers the handles in clay.

Now we have less that 2 weeks to prepare for our last show of the year.  It is the large Craft-A-Fair at the Sandman Centre in Kamloops.

We will be in the same location as the other years -- on the concourse (turn left at the main entrance and we are the 3rd space on the left in the corner).  If you are in the area, drop by and say hi.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

New Interchangeable Jewelry and Accessories in a Snap

We added a few more new and exciting pieces to our "Snap Decisions" Collection.  Some we only ordered smaller quantities to test them out so there is a limited supply.  As it turns out we are quite pleased with the quality and have listed them in our online store.  Here are a few of them.  You can click on the photos to see the listings.

Some new butterfly pendants.  This one has enamel accents in black and white and we put it on a gorgeous softglass cord.

This is a gorgeous lariat style necklace with a snap base focal that zips up and down the silver snake chain.  It looks so elegant and any snap fits, including the larger styles.

Some new clutch purses in a faux leather.  These purses are so soft and finished beautifully with a fabric liner and 3 extra zipper pockets.  Use as a clutch or attach a long shoulder or wrist strap that are both included for interchanging.  There are bags with a single or triple snap base.

Clutch Purses with Snap Bases
Triple Snap Clutch Purse in Dusty Cedar

And hang your bag with these purse hangers that have a snap base.  They are surrounded with crystals in 4 color choices.

Purse Hangers with Snap Base for Interchanging Snap Buttons

Interchangeable Snap Base Purse Hangers

Monday, October 17, 2016

Shuswap Women in Business Trade Show

If you are in the Shuswap or Okanagan area, you might be interested in the Women in Business Conference and Trade Show this coming Saturday in Salmon Arm.

This should be a great day with some excellent workshops focused on women and business.  Each session is only $10 and there is a special of 4 for $35.  You can book your workshops in advance to be sure there is a space.

I will be set up at the Trade Show there with a wide assortment of our Interchangeable Jewelry "in a Snap" along with other specialty items.

Leaves Business Card Holder

Art Deco Business Card Holder and Flip Pen-Stylus

Flip Pens - Stylus Combo

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Snowflakes in a Snap Tutorial

It is that time of year when we are busy creating items for Christmas shows.  Our snowflake snaps last year were a popular item and are in the process of making more as well as in some new colors.

If you are interested in making some interchangeable snap jewelry either for gifts or to sell at the craft shows, now is the time to stock up on your supplies.

We are also offering a free pdf copy of our tutorial, "Snowflakes in a Snap" plus a bonus snowflake charm with a minimum purchase from our DIY snap supply section in our online store. **

This tutorial is not for sale but only available as a bonus gift with the minimum purchase of snap supplies.  And don't forget to sign up to our website for additional offers or discounts.  We promise we will not share your information to anyone else and you won't be bombarded with a ton of e-mails. 

** If you already received my tutorial and snowflake charm last year, we will send you a free snap ring base and snap pendant instead.   See the bottom of our page for more information here.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Multi-colored Retro Pattern Dish

When I was making snaps from the retro pattern canes a while ago I suddenly felt inspired to make a dish.  Even though I really enjoy making beads, buttons or interchangeable snaps, it is a satisfying feeling to create something much larger.

With smaller items such as a bead or snap, the pattern can be quite tiny or only a portion of the design is used.   With an item like this dish, the "canvas" is much larger allowing the polymer patterns to show more.  In this dish I combined slices from different canes to create a rainbow or color shifting effect.

This dish, along with some others are now available in our online store.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

New Ring Display

A couple of years ago we made some displays from polymer clay to show off our bracelets at shows.  We found these worked really well for us and you can see them here.  This year we decided we could use a ring display and so made one using the same technique as the one for the bracelets but instead mounted all the cones on a solid base.

We have several styles of rings that all have a snap base for interchanging the decorative snap buttons.  It worked really well and allowed the shoppers to choose their preferred ring style and then select the various snaps for interchanging.

Paper cones we covered to create the ring stands