Thursday, September 22, 2011

Wicked Inspiration: Polymer Clay Witch Fingers

Witch Finger Pens

I had been in a slump lately. I had lots of ideas, but none of them "called" to me. Fortunately I stumbled upon a project, Witch Finger Stew, on Marlene Brady's blog that offered me some wicked inspiration: decorative polymer clay witch fingers based on a cookie project she had seen. Very clever!

That project got me thinking about how cute polymer-clay-covered witch finger pens would be. I had so much fun making the pens pictured above that I moved on to jewelry.

All of these finished projects are available for sale at along with a tutorial if you would like to learn to make your own witch fingers. And remember, my blog readers save 5% on everything in the store through Sept. 30. Enter the code YOUNGCREATIVESEPT at check out to get your discount.

Witch Finger Jewelry Line

Friday, September 9, 2011

Clay kudos and a discount code for you

This has been a good week. My husband and I are enjoying an albeit rainy stay-cation. This has given me lots of time to clay and catch up on my social media interactions. Plus I received two pieces of clay-related good news.

Free Puking Pumpkin Tutorial

On Wednesday I shared my new Pinterest addiction in the post: Pininterest: 5 Reasons You Should be Pinning. I credited Marlene Brady of Its All About Creating with giving me the push to finally try it out. In return she featured my Puking Pumpkin Tutorial on her blog. It is nice to see this guy, who served as the AC Moore Facebook profile last year for the month of October, get a new round of publicity. 

Art Nouveau Fan Brooch

My Pink Art Nouveau Fan Brooch took 3rd place in the public voting in the PCAGOE September Challenge. Read about the winners. Thanks to everyone who voted! 

Kelly was extremely touched by the challenge in her honor. Here are her comments: "You cannot imagine how honored and humbled I am to see and read all the entries. Yesterday I was very emotional so I was sobbing while reading everyone's kind words. I came back on a stronger day to vote because then I could barely see thru my tears. I cannot thank everyone enough for doing this and giving me the strength to get through this."

A discount for you:
I'm in such a good mood right now that I decided to offer 5% of everything in my YoungCreative store. Enter the code YOUNGCREATIVE5 at check out through September 30 to get your discount. You could use it on the Art Nouveau brooch, a puking pumpkin wine bottle stopper, or ANYTHING you want.

Barfing Pumpkin Wine Stopper

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Pinterest: 5 reasons you should be pinning


My new addiction and five reasons why it should be yours

This week I discovered a new blog and a new addiction when I visited It's All About Creating by Marlene Brady. She showcases lots of great projects, some her own and some by other artists. I liked what I saw so I decided to click on this image in her sidebar to more tutorials.

The link took me to her Pinterest boards. I've been reading about Pinterest, a site where you can create virtual bulletin boards and "pin" items that you like onto them. It sounded cool, but nothing motivated me to invest precious time there. Nothing, that is, until I saw how Marlene used it. She has boards sorted by tutorials, craft type, holidays, and even marketing and display ideas. The closet librarian in me started to take over. I HAD to pin something. Pinterest is invitation only right now, but I saw a place to request an invite. That same evening I received an e-mail inviting me to join and I've been pinning ever since.

Here are 5 reasons you should be pinning:

1. Visual Brainstorming
How many times have you seen a link or a photo on the web that inspired you? I find myself downloading photos and bookmarking endless links, but frankly those great finds get buried on my laptop. Most never see the light of day again. Pinterest is a visual way of organizing things. It works great for projects because you can set up individual boards for each project. One of my first boards was a collection of fire pit ideas that I can share with a landscaper once I am ready to redo our backyard.

2. Order your world
My dream would be to take a label maker and label everything in the universe. Sick right? I am an order freak, not that my life lets me take it to the level that I would like. I've tries so many systems to organize things. I have folders on my computer that are divided into sub-folders and I still can't find anything. Pinning is a simple way to file things on the fly.

3. Explore Google-free 
I love the ease of a Google search. Frankly, I don't know what I did before Google. Yet Google groups things using algorithms. It thinks mechanically. When you explore Pinterest, you see things grouped organically by a complex and individual human mind. That leads to some pretty interesting finds. If you want to make sure Google doesn't feel left out, you can google "Pinterest 101" to find lots of great articles on how to get started.

4. Accumulate stuff, no closet space needed
Pinterest is great if you are a minimalist neat freak with hoarder tendencies. The boards let you amass tons of cool stuff without filling your house to the rafters. It is the ultimate couch potato window shopping experience. It can also serve as a virtual shopping cart for when you are ready to buy the real thing. I have a board filled with dining room table selections. Soon, when I make up my mind, one of them will find its way to my home.

5. Promote your work
While your role on Pinterest is to curate the great stuff that you find out on the World Wide Web, Pinterest does allow you to pin things of your own as well. Many artist have a "My Work" board along with their other items. I think the key, like in any social forum, is to be subtle and keep the good karma flowing outward.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Pink for Kelly

The PCAGOE September Challenge: Pink
Every month the Polymer Clay Artists Guild of Etsy puts on a challenge for our members. Only members can enter a creation, but voting is open to the public and all of the voters are entered to win a prize. I knew there was a lot of work that went in behind the scenes to put on the challenge, but I never really realized how much.

A couple of months ago, our challenge coordinator Kelly, asked for some help. She had been recently diagnosed with breast cancer and needed someone to take over these duties while she started treatment.

We decided to divide the tasks so it would be easier for everyone to fit them in with work and family obligations. We should have done that a long time ago, but no one really realized how time-intensive the challenge tasks were.

When we learned of Kelly's illness we decided to change the theme for September to "Pink." As you can see this theme is particularly dear to us so if you have a few minutes, please stop by the challenge site and vote by Sept. 7.

Vote here:

Saturday, September 3, 2011

More Exploration of Mokume Gane

Mokume Gane Fan Collection

Sometimes all you need to kick start creativity is a new tool. In my case it was a stamp sheet that my Mom and sister found at a yard sale. It is a deep stamp with squares of random patterns including a fan-shape.

The technique
When I shared my first exploration of the mokume gane technique, it was the random approach where you stack thin sheets of different colors of clay together and poke holes that are filled with another color to create random patterns when the stack is sliced.

This time I stacked the thin sheets and then pressed the stamp into the stack. I then sliced away the top layer to reveal the fan pattern below. I loved the effect and the fact that each one came out a little different. It became a study of shape and color for me. The color palettes gave each piece a different stylistic feel: Victorian, art nouveau, Miami deco, Asian. 

Aquamarine Art Deco Fan Brooch available at Young Creative

Victorian Scallop Pendant available at Young Creative
Art Nouveau Fan Brooch in Pink  available at Young Creative

Vote for a chance to win
The pink one is my entry in the PCAGOE September Challenge: Pink. To vote in the challenge, visit by Sept. 7. You could win an original polymer clay creation just for voting.


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